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La Linea businessman proposes city’s highest award for Gibraltar and CM

by Maria Jesus Corrales

A La Linea businessman yesterday said he will petition political parties to bestow the city’s highest award of recognition, the Medalla de Oro de La Linea, on the people of Gibraltar and the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

This proposal is in recognition of the Gibraltar Government’s efforts in guaranteeing a minimum salary for cross-border workers during the coronavirus emergency.

Lorenzo Pérez Periáñez, who is the chair of the small business association Apymell, told the Chronicle this will be a personal project that he will discuss with his fellow committee members at Apymell, the Cross Frontier Group and political parties in La Linea once this public health emergency passes.

“The most important thing right now is this health emergency and we are doing what we can to get out of his situation,” Mr Pérez Periáñez said.

“But I have received many calls from residents who are very appreciative of this [financial] gesture, which is significant for La Linea.”

“And it has not come from us but from the Chief Minister himself.”

Mr Picardo “does not want to leave anyone unemployed,” Mr Pérez Periáñez said, adding: “As a socialist, he told me that he is committed to protecting the workers and the jobs, and this is why he was going to make this measure available.”

Mr Pérez Periáñez said that the Chief Minister kept to his word and this is what should be recognised by the people in La Linea.

“This gesture was important enough to earn the respect of many people who were in doubt,” Mr Pérez Periáñez said.

“This has provided tranquility for a lot of cross-border workers who were living in this situation filled with uncertainty and concern.”

Mr Pérez Periáñez said Mr Picardo and the people of Gibraltar “deserve” the Medalla de Oro, the highest honour given by La Linea.

He said he would wait until the coronavirus pandemic lifts in Spain, which has been hit hard with over 94,000 individuals infected and over 8,000 fatalities.

Mr Pérez Periáñez said he will have to “assess” what the thoughts are on this proposal after speaking to the relevant individuals and organisations, as well as the local city council, before pushing ahead with it.

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