CM reaches out to Open Your Eyes after Monday protest
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has written to the Open Your Eyes group inviting representatives to meet with him to discuss grievances aired during a protest march on Monday.
The demonstration was attended by scores of people - 160 according to the Royal Gibraltar Police, closer to 300 according to the organisers - and delivered statements to both the Chief Minister and the Governor, Sir David Steel.
The statements includes a 14-point list of concerns, many focused on recent traffic measures implemented by the government but also including other issues such as mental healthcare and democratic accountability.
In his letter, Mr Picardo told the organisers that he did not agree with many of the positions they had set out in their letter to him, “but that he, of course, respects their right to hold those views and to demonstrate in support of them,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.
He urged the group to respect that the government had been recently elected with a mandate to implement its manifesto, adding that the GSLP/Liberal administration was proud to consider itself “of the People and by the People”, a position from which it would not resile.
The Chief Minister noted too that the demonstration had been attended by some elected MPs from the GSD and by some member of Together Gibraltar.
The, he said, was despite the fact that some of the points raised by protestors ran counter to the policies of the opposition parties, who he accused of “trying to politicise the demonstration for partisan ends”.
“I look forward to meeting with the organisers of yesterday’s demonstration in order to try to better explain the Government’s position on some of the issues that they are raising and better hear their views on the subjects,” Mr Picardo said in a statement issued by No.6 Convent Place.
“I have also waited to highlight the dishonest way in which members of other political parties are try-ing to jump on the bandwagon of the demonstration, even though they have policies and positions which directly contradict some of the things the demo was designed to address.”
“This applies as much to the two political parties in opposition who are disrespectful of those attend-ing the demo in believing that they can pull the wool over their eyes by using them for their partisan ends.”
“Frankly, I would hope that those attending the demo and those watching the scenes in the media will have seen through those politicians who have been pictured amongst the crowds and who have marched against their very own policies.”
“I am sure that when I meet with members of this group, if they have an open mind, they will under-stand what the Government is doing, why we are doing it and the direct mandate we have to do these things having obtained more than half again the votes of the other political parties standing at the last election.”
“We take our mandate seriously and we will never let the People of Gibraltar down, although we accept that we cannot please everyone all of the time.”