Wednesday, 18th July 2012
Reinstatement row: any ‘abuse of power’ lies with Montiel, says Govt
As the row over the job reinstatement of former GSD Government Minister Luis Montiel continues, Convent Place yesterday declared that Mr Montiel and his legal adviser Daniel Feetham “are simply trying to make political points.”
In a statement last night which though hard hitting replaced an earlier recalled version with personal references to Mr Montiel, a Government spokesman rejected that any abuse of power had been perpetrated against Mr Montiel, arguing that the only such act evident in the case “arises from his attempt while still a Minister, to have himself transferred from the GDC to the Civil Service.”
A Gibraltar Government spokesman said: “The statements by Luis Montiel and the GSD in respect of Mr Montiel’s re-engagement in the Gibraltar Development Corporation contains a number of lies and inaccuracies which must be corrected.
“It is not true that Mr Montiel has been offered a Grade 1 post as a receptionist. The truth is that Mr Montiel has re-engaged in a Grade 4 post. He was asked to help out at the reception desk at the ETB whilst a different role was identified.
“It is strange that an ex trade unionist like Mr Montiel feels that being asked to help out on a reception desk is demeaning in some way. The Government values the work done by all Civil Service and GDC employees, from the most junior receptionist to the Chief Secretary.
“The only abuse of power evident in Mr Montiel’s case arises from his attempt, whilst he was still a Minister to have himself transferred from the GDC to the Civil Service. This is a patent attempted abuse and one of the very many perpetrated by the GSD whilst Mr Montiel himself was a Minister.
“It is a blatant and unashamed lie for Mr Montiel to say that there has been no correspondence with him or his solicitor, Daniel Feetham, also of the GSD, and that this resulted in legal action. The fact is that there was extensive correspondence but Mr Montiel would simply not accept earlier what he has accepted now, namely the re-engagement in the GDC – as he was insisting on being taken on as a civil servant.
“The reality of this situation is that Mr Montiel and Mr Feetham are simply trying to make political points for his party’s own ends. The Government is confident that people will see through that.
“What is clear to the Government and no doubt to the public, is that Mr Montiel has
summoned up previously unseen reserves of energy – which he was never seen to deploy for others he represented when he was a trade union leader or for the growing list of the unemployed when he was a minister – and he has clearly recovered from the medical afflictions that saw him retire on “medical grounds” from his role as District Officer of the TGWU. This is what is apparently driving Mr Montiel to now work so hard to argue he should be taken on into the Civil Service so late in life.
“The public will see that the only “abuses” and “shocking tactics” in evidence in respect of this matter are those being deployed by Mr Montiel and the GSD, something the Government will continue to expose whenever appropriate.”