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J C Perez RIP

print edition

SAYING OF THE WEEK

Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

The editor of 'The New People' Juan Carlos Perez, a pioneering Gibraltarian politician, trades unionist and journalist, died suddenly last night. He was 61 years old. He was an active trade unionist, and helped start this newspaper. He was elected into government with the GSLP in the eighties. He later became party chairman and a respected journalist and for a number of years editor of this publication.

Despite ill health he managed to produce interesting stories every week and completed this weeks edition just before he died. He faced many challenges, and was always cheerful and someone people could rely on.

LONDON TERROR HITS US HARD

Gibraltar woke up on Sunday in shock as it learnt of the terrorist incident in London, the third terrorist attack in UK in three months. Both the Government and the Opposition extended their condolences to the people of London on behalf of the people of Gibraltar. Flags flew at half-mast in all public buildings and a minute’s silence was observed on Tuesday at noon as a mark of respect. The attack has hit Gibraltar hard, not only because of the number of Gibraltarians in London but also because of our historic and political connections with a city we consider to be our capital.

The Chief Minister wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and to Prime Minister, Theresa May to express the condolences of the people and Government of Gibraltar. “Our thoughts are of course, once more, with the people of Britain, in the aftermath of this incident, especially the families of those killed or critically injured and the many caught up in the horror of these events.” He described the atrocity as mindless, senseless and despicable adding that the perpetrators are senseless murderers who seek to disrupt the freedom with which we live our lives. “They will not succeed, but we will all understand the need to be vigilant to ensure that the emergency services have the tools and resources necessary to curtail such criminal activity when possible.” He mentioned our close links with London and the bravery and professionalism of the police and emergency services in responding to the attack. “Today, we are all Londoners standing resolute against these criminals. Guns and bombs can break our bones, but terrorists will NEVER beat us."

For his part, the Leader of the Opposition issued a press release saying the people of Gibraltar will be as appalled as the rest of the democratic world at the cowardly attack on innocent Londoners. “The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has vowed a sweeping review of Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to try to reduce or eliminate Islamic radicalism and the safe spaces it needs to breed. We wish her well in what will surely be a monumental task.” He offered his heartfelt condolences to all Londoners. Independent Opposition Member, Marlene Hassan Nahon, also extended her condolences and congratulated the selfless and heroic acts of the essential services.

On Sunday, the Governor and Chief Minister jointly chaired a meeting of the Gibraltar Contingency Council to review the threat level on Gibraltar in the aftermath of the London terrorist attack. It again decided that the threat level would remain at “substantial” as there was no specific intelligence regarding any increase in threat to Gibraltar. Following the statement by the Prime Minister in UK, however, the GCC said it will ensure that Gibraltar’s counter terrorist strategy and contingent capabilities and procedures are developed in step with those of the UK as appropriate.

The Government was in touch with the Foreign Office over the weekend to check whether any Gibraltarians had been victim to the terrorist attack and, as we went to press, there was no indication that this was the case although there are reports that some Gibraltarians, currently living in London, were close by enjoying a Saturday night out in that great city which is London.