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Opinion & Analysis

Cleaning up politics and the environment

By Craig Sacarello

I am standing with Together Gibraltar both to clean up politics and to clean up our environment.

We are genuinely focused on creating a better Gibraltar for our children.

As I write, the air is filthy with vehicle fumes and construction dust; Gibraltar looks like a concrete jungle, we have the worst record in the EU for renewable energy supply and we pump raw sewage in to the sea. Why has a Minister who purports to be a climate change sympathiser done so pitifully little?

We have been unjustly slated as novices. The aim: to instil fear at a time of uncertainty.

The reality is exponentially different. Our candidates are hugely experienced in their fields and also have experience of working in Brussels, UK Parliament and other international organisations.

Many of us have been quietly working behind the scenes for the benefit of Gibraltar. But it is time that we publicly set the record straight.

When an economy faces potential threats, a government must act decisively and comprehensively.

Where is the preparation for Brexit that the Government loves to keep under wraps like a Trick or Treat gift for Halloween? Where is the infrastructure we need for our 3000 key workers who cross the border daily? Where is the infrastructure for the roll on/off ferries to handle supplies if the border is problematic?

It was through Together Gibraltar’s intervention that the Government were brought to realise that La Linea did not have a Border Inspection Point and were persuaded to set up plans for an emergency ferry service from Algeciras.

Few businesses have been consulted on Brexit, information has been paltry and the Brexit office – another of Together Gibraltar’s suggestions – still has very little to offer in the way of reassurances and clarity.

Small businesses are the engine of our economy but are vulnerable because there are no signs of incentive schemes, no loans to support cash flow problems resulting from Brexit, arduous bureaucracy has not been alleviated, and there is still no eGov.

Government could have stepped in during the past three years since the Brexit Referendum. But instead, they ignore our and create a climate of fear to make gains at these elections. Cynical or clever? Machiavellian or callous?

Our economy is one currently based on wealth extraction as opposed to wealth creation.

We must diversify and develop enterprises in growth areas such as the tech sector and attract capital for this. We need to create opportunities for all. Only Sian Jones and our team at Together Gibraltar, with her international experience in technology can engineer the right systems to deliver this. We will set up an Enterprise Investment Scheme to inject capital into these enterprises.

A new future is unfolding for Gibraltar through the dual challenges of Brexit and climate change. We must face this not with macho mantras but with a visionary and progressive view: We must all be innovative, collaborative, honest, pragmatic and empathetic. Vote with hope, not with fear. Vote Together Gibraltar.