Chief Minister Peter Caruana has declared that there now appears to be a realisation and acceptance in London that it is the Gibraltarians who are the primary players in all discussions, processes and decisions about our future ? since only we can decide that future, reported this week the Gibraltar Chronicle.
In his New Year message Mr Caruana said he believed that during 2002 and 2003 Gibraltar had seen off the attempt by the UK and Spain to deal with the Rock's future between them. He emphasized that the primary responsibility for any abnormality in the relations between Gibraltar and Spain was with those "that seek to deny and challenge our rights at every turn."
And in a clear message regarding the continuation of the process for constitutional modernisation, Mr Caruana said that "rabbits which freeze in headlights of passing traffic are, sooner or later, run over," and stated that Gibraltar could not afford to stand still or "to be seen to be accepting that we have no alternative but to stand still."
Mr Caruana said that Constitutional modernisation proposals must be pursued with the purpose of developing political rights and not yield to "the anachronistic territorial sovereignty dispute approach to our future, which represents the very denial of our existence as a people with political rights".
Further on he highlighted the importance of the Tercentenary celebrations and said links with Britain have provided all that Gibraltar has and much of what it represents as a people, "our institutions, culture, traditions, laws, education and administrative systems, our Gibraltarian way of life, our unique identity as a distinct people."
"Only those who seek to deny us the democratic political rights as a people that flow from our long history would prefer that we did not celebrate and commemorate that history".