Monday, 19 August 2013

News Direct 12th to 19th August 2013.

This is the news from this week.

Spain to Side with Argentina

Spain is considering siding with Argentina against the UK over Falkland Islands and Gibraltarian sovereignty.

It has been widely reported in the media that Spain and Argentina may take a joint diplomatic offensive as the dispute over Gibraltar intensifies. A Spanish official is quoted, saying, “We are studying taking the matter to the United Nations and these are all options that are being considered. The minister is travelling to Argentina in September and plans to exchange ideas over the matter.”

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo is scheduled to visit Buenos Aires next month, where he will use the trip to discuss the possibility of joining a diplomatic offensive with the Argentine Government against the UK.

 Previously Spain has been careful of showing support to Argentina over their claim to the Falkland Islands. It was last year that Argentina caused problems with Spanish relations when they nationalised oil company YPF, a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Repsol. Spain’s El Pais newspaper admitted that the Repsol/YPF dispute could be a difficulty for such an approach between the governments of Cristina Kirchner and Mariano Rajoy.

Spain Diverting Attention

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar has accused the Spanish government of "banging the nationalistic drum" to divert attention away from the country's domestic problems, drawing parallels to Argentina’s policies towards the Falklands.

Tensions between London and Madrid have deepened, with Downing Street announcing it was drawing up plans for legal action over the continued imposition of "politically motivated" checks at the Gibraltar border.

Fabian Picardo has said that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was trying to make Spanish people lose focus on problems at home in the same way that the head of Argentina's military junta, Leopoldo Galtieri, did with the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Mr Picardo said that while Madrid is "playing games", the people of Gibraltar do not worry about the spat "because they’ve lived through so many before.

Falklands Support Gibraltar

 Mr Picardo has said that the support of Falkland Islanders is much appreciated by Gibraltarians at this time of increased tension with Spain.

 Speaking to Falklands Radio, Mr Picardo said that they have received support from around the world.


FP:    The support that matters is from our friends in the Falkland Islands, from the Prime Minister, from the Minister from Europe from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the UK William Hague. That is the support that really counts, the support of what you would call members of the British family. But we’ve also had huge support, for example, from the Spanish citizens and many of those who come to Gibraltar to work every day and from the Catalan people in Spain, who themselves wish to have a referendum on whether or not Catalonia should be part of Spain or not; and from even further afield from Australia. From all around the world, Gibraltar really has got people’s support and got people’s minds racing in favour of the underdog, the David facing the Spanish Goliath.

Spain’s tactics have been criticised by Roger Boyes, the Diplomatic Editor of the Times.

Mr Boyes says that through calling upon the Falklands and considering siding with Argentina, effectively joining an anti-British cause, the Spanish Prime Minister ‘has burnt his boats with British Prime Minister David Cameron’.

Mr Boyes has urged the government to return to a more positive approach to the Gibraltar question, and to ‘try charm’.

The Times article continues, with Mr Boyes saying that ‘The Spanish Prime Minister has demonstrated plainly enough that he considers full Spanish sovereignty to be the only desirable goal, even though the Gibraltarians are overwhelmingly in favour of staying British.”

Local News


 A royal letter of thanks was received this week by Members of the Legislative Assembly.

 A letter of thanks written on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been received by the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, expressing thanks for the gifts received by them on the occasion of the birth of Prince George.

 MLA Ian Hansen said that Members of the Legislative Assembly were delighted to receive the letter of thanks and to hear reports that Prince George had been spotted on television wrapped in the shawl that formed part of the gift from the Islands.


 A trade delegation is being organised by the Chamber of Commerce for Falklands businesses to visit Uruguay and Chile later this year.

Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Hamish Wylie says that it will be a great opportunity for local business people to visit companies in South America to make contacts for possible future business ventures. He says this is a great opportunity for the potential of supplying the oil industry through local companies.

 The proposed dates are 12th to 19th October, with three days to be spent in Montevideo, Uruguay and two days in Punta Arenas, Chile.


Falklands oil explorer Argos Resources will showcase its exploration work in the islands at an hydrocarbons investors meeting to be held in the UK later this month.

Argos Resources Managing Director John Hogan will be presenting investors with insight on how the company is progressing. While on the face of it all has been quiet, Argos are said to have been busily working behind the scenes, outlining new exploration prospects containing an estimated 3bn barrels of recoverable prospective resources.

Mr Hogan will outline the company’s plans in London later this month as the company works on the issues of rig contracting, funding and a possible farm-out deal.


Around 45,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit the Falklands during the upcoming summer cruise ship season.

The tourism industry will be hoping for a less turbulent season following the problems experienced last year with the weather and Argentine interference with ships.

Tourism Co-ordinator for Sulivan Travel Sammy Marsh said that passenger numbers should be similar to last year.


SM:    Well, the number of ships, I mean it’s looking very similar to last year, to be honest with you, we’re just hopeful that there’s not going to be so many cancellations this year. But I mean rough numbers, we’re looking at about 45,000 I would say, approximate.

SB:    And any new ships or just the normal ones we expect?

SM:    There are some ships that have been renamed. The Sea Explorer was actually the Corinthian II and they’re under a different company now. Princess are bringing a new ship to the Falklands and I’m pretty sure it’s new. The Grand Princess, I’m sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been before; but apart from those two there’s nothing new anyway.

SB:    Are you looking forward to getting underway and getting things rolling again?

SM:    Yes I am, although I’m not feeling very summary at the moment of course, but yes. The first ship we have due in is on the 19th October so not very far away at all.


Goose Green Public Meeting

 A public meeting was held this week at Goose Green.

 Around twenty five people attended the meeting with MLAs Roger Edwards, Ian Hansen and Sharon Halford and Acting Chief Executive Simon Fletcher and the Financial Secretary Nicola Granger taking questions.

Presentations were given on the outcome of the FIG budget by the Financial Secretary and on the report by the MLA review panel by MLA Edwards.

 The presentation on the budget led to questions on issues such as FIGAS freight rates and maintenance of the camp road network. It was stated that the 3% increase to FIGAS freight rates could be detrimental to camp businesses bringing goods into Stanley. MLA Ian Hansen acknowledged that the rate increase would lead to a very small amount of revenue for FIG while affecting camp businesses and that it was an issue that would be looked at further.

 Other topics covered briefly in a question and answer session at the end of the meeting included road designation and temporary port facilities in Stanley.

Local Events


Many children enjoyed a party held at the FIDF Hall on Monday. The party was an act of kindness by the team who are taking part in this year’s Greatest Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen.

 One of those taking part is Leona Roberts and she said she was pleased that the children had enjoyed themselves and that they were looking forward to the rest of their challenge.


 Falklands Day was marked with a reception held at Government House on Wednesday.

 It was on August 14th 1592 that the Falkland Islands were discovered by English sea captain John Davis. Some of the oldest Falkland families were invited to the reception to honour the occasion.

At the reception, Governor Nigel Haywood gave a toast to the Falkland Islands.



After the 16th week of matches in the darts league season, Ottos Outlaws remain top of the table with 44 points and 198 legs won. They are 4 points ahead of Sharpshooters.

 For the men, Colin Smith has won the most legs and has the highest on the back of the card. Darren Plato has scored the most tons and Alan Bonner has scored the most ton pluses.

For the ladies, Jackie Thomas has won the most legs. Lizzy Bonner has the highest on the back of the card and has scored the most tons.






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