November 07, 2019
Fabian gave an excellent performance when he was interviewed on Canal Sur. His demeanour was relaxed, as usual, and his command of the Spanish language was excellent.
He answered all the questions put to him with regards to Gibraltar and Brexit, he explained what his role and competences were. He attempted to dispel the myth of Gibraltar as a tax haven by enumerating the many European countries that are roughly on the same tax level as ourselves.
It was a very successful interview and viewers and people attending appreciated his sincerity, information and expressed commitment, from our side, to cross border fluidity. He was given an appreciative hearty round of applause.
He said quite categorically that there were fourteen thousand companies registered in Gibraltar and not the thirty-five thousand bandied by some. He also dispelled some of the concerns of some in the audience that had links to Gibraltar either because they worked here or had business interests across the frontier.
After Fabian’s appearance we saw a genuinely concerned Juan Franco, the mayor of La Linea, interviewed on TV hoping that the Brexit situation would not plunge La Linea into an economic abyss as happened in 1969 with the closure of the frontier. He said, however, that the devaluation of the pound since the referendum in the UK had already affected his town negatively.
The interviewer immediately turned to a supposedly professional panel sat around a round table and asked them how they saw the situation. The newly appointed director of the right wing El Mundo newspaper, a member of the panel, said, the question of Brexit was not an easy one and immediately contrasted the Mayor of La Linea’s stance with that of Fabian Picardo by portraying the former as a realist and Fabian Picardo as someone that fantasises. He said that Fabian Picardo was a nice friendly man (muy simpatico) with the gift of the garb (muy dicharachero) and he has managed to slip in some slanted questions through the back door (temas de contrabando) on the question of Gibraltar. “There are no two different text books on the question of Gibraltar,” he said. A theme he threw in in order to disqualify us on our right to our land saying that ownership is established first by the Treaty of Utrecht and the resolution of the United Nations that establishes that we are a colony (with no rights?) and who the real owners are. In his estimation that immediately disqualifies us. He further disqualifies Fabian when he says he goes beyond his competences when answering questions which is why he thought that what the Mayor of La Linea said was more relevant and to the point. He clearly implied that Fabian’s competence did not go beyond that of a mayor. This is how the Spanish Government has always tried to portray our Chief Minister.
He said that there will now be general elections in the UK and we don’t know how that is going to affect everything. He felt that since one of the sticking points was the frontier with Ulster this would also affect the Gibraltar frontier and this cannot yet be predetermined.
Clearly Sr Francisco Rosell knows very little about Gibraltar and was simply regurgitating all the anti-Gibraltar sentiments, he, as a good disciple of the right in Spain, has absorbed over decades.
Later on, he comes back on the attack again using hyperbole saying that everybody knows that in Gibraltar there are more registered companies than inhabitants and reiterating that Gibraltar was a tax haven. “It is not coincidence,” he said, “that those in Gibraltar live so well and their GDP is so high for they live as well as Spaniards without being taxed as such, with the privileges of UK citizens.” He said anyone would want that situation.
I think he should be invited over to see our reality for himself.
But I believe that what must have really hugely rankled the gentleman was when Fabian said he did not want to be Spanish. An unpardonable sacrilege!