Expatica news

Gibraltar has right to decide future – Caruana

8 January 2004

ALGECIRAS – Peter Caruana, the prime minister of Gibraltar, claimed Thursday Britain and Spain had been forced to recognise the colony had a right to decide its own future.

In his New Year address, Caruana said in the past two years his government had “succeeded in cutting down the efforts of  Britain and Spain to treat and negociate our future bilaterally, without us.”

He said: “Now it seems London accepts that Gibraltar is our land, and that we have the right to be the first players in the discussions, processes and decisions of our future, since only we can make decisions about it.”

Caruana said he hoped Britain could persuade Spain to show the same respect for “our undeniable political and democratic rights”.

He confirmed that his government “is looking for good and constructive relations with Spain”, based in mutual respect.

He added: “Those who deny and challenge the rights, desires and aspirations of the people from Gibraltar are those responsible for the abnormal relations between Gibraltar and Spain.”

Caruana repeated his offer to join the Spanish foreign minister, Ana Palacio, “at any time and in any place” for talks.

However, he announced a modernization of the constitution of Gibraltar in order to stop the “erroneous impression” that the only solution of the sovereignty question is through dialogue between Madrid and London  without considering the desires of the citizens of Gibraltar.

Caruana said the colony must continue the defence of its  political rights. He added: “We must not carry on like paralysed rabbits in front of the traffic lights, that sooner or later will be run over.”

Meanwhile, he said this year will provide other challenges like negotiating with the European Union over taxes, telephone lines, flights, foreign borders  and the new Constitution of the EU.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news