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Opinion & Analysis

We can do much more

By Alfred Ballester

I am Alfred Ballester , known as Freddie.
In the forthcoming election I am standing with the GSD party.
At the age of 17 I became a member of the young AACR, and in 1993 I joined the GSD party, therefore I am no newcomer to politics.
I have always taken a great interest in Gibraltar’s affairs.
I worked as a businessman in the private sector for most of my adult life and I was privileged to have been one of the pioneers in the gaming sector in the early 90’s
During my time  in that sector I served as chairman of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association and  also vice chairman of the Interactive Gaming Council, an international industry body, which allowed me to promote Gibraltar worldwide.
Prior to 1996 there were only a handful of gaming companies based in Gibraltar, but within a few years we started to notice the growth to the level it is today.
The GSD who governed Gibraltar  for almost 16 years, restored the confidence of the international community, and the  growth in the sector continued. 
Only recently I attained the age of 70. So you might ask yourself why am I standing for election?
I have felt it necessary to become more involved as I see many of the things that drew me to politics in the early 1990s recurring today. 
The total lack of transparency and accountability in answering questions in parliament.
The way our public finances have been structured. No one one knows how much has been borrowed or where it is being spent. 
In a parliament, which is supposed to be the cradle of our democracy.
I donit want our children and grandchildren to be lumbered with astronomical debt  that no one knows the extent of , because the GSLP/Liberals refuse to  provide clear answers.
Do they really think they can fool all of the people all of the time?
I just cannot sit back and watch how there are certain other areas in our society, important to all of us, where we could do a lot more. 
One of these areas is opportunities for those young men and women who may not make it to university. 
Let us provide them with  proper, well-structured training programmes run by professionals in different trades such as carpentry, electricity, plumbing, catering and other technical trades.
Whereby the apprentices would achieve proper accreditation at the end of their training, which will serve them to acquire secure long term employment. 
Are we really preparing our youngsters for worthwhile careers by equipping them with the necessary skills?
Attempts like the future job strategy, have been tried in the past and failed, so let us analyse why.
Let us work together with the Chamber of Commerce and the unions, in order to identify which are the most needed skills.
At the end of the day they will only inherit what we leave for them.

Alfred Ballester is a GSD candidate at the forthcoming general election.