October 17, 2020 · Modified: 10/17/2020 – 19:59
Loren Periáñez says goodbye as president of the Cross-Border Group, to which he will continue to belong, but not as head of the presidency. Periáñez spoke this Saturday afternoon with the Communication Area on issues such as the Brexit negotiations.
This group was created in 2013. As a result of the long lines at the access to the Rock at that time «we see that it is harming the economy of the area. Gibraltar’s small and medium-sized companies meet with me and we decided to create this group in protest because we always think that politicians can fight, but the interest of citizens and companies must remain on the sidelines.
He Cross-Border Group It arose and since then “seven years have passed and we continue working and functioning and who was to say that ten organizations as opposed as unions and employers and on both sides of the border can live together.”
Loren Periáñez says goodbye to the presidency and recalls that “I was one of the creators. It is a stage that I have completed, the presidency is itinerant and my stage was until April 6. Now the Unite union enters and Michael Netto will be the new president. The presidency of the Cross-Border Group filled me a lot. Being at the forefront of collectives such as chambers of commerce and the main unions on both sides is important. It has been an honor for me to chair this group.
His intention has been “to get the group out of the comfort zone and make it closer to the people. We have also been more aware of the media.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH BREXIT
On the other hand the agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union “is a long way down the road the negotiations are taking. We trust in goodwill and the Cross-Border Group asks to urge the actors that are participating in these negotiations to put aside any aspect related to politics or sovereignty and focus on the interest of citizens. A no-deal Brexit can be a tragedy of incalculable magnitude. ‘
One thing they have missed is «The lack of information to citizens. Many businessmen and citizens do not know what is going to happen. We believe that politicians do not know what will happen either. You wait for everything to be fixed at the last minute and you have to rely on luck. It is essential to put aside political interests and focus on relationships and the interests of citizens not only from an economic point of view, but also from a social point of view.
Gibraltar does not belong to Schengen area but you have agreements that give you some rights. ‘With a wild Brexit I would lose those rights. It would generate a series of damages that we are not prepared to bear. We have to fight with all our might so that this does not happen.
To the mayors “we have had to pull their ears and the Cross-Border Group demanded an agreement from the local leaders. The majority of the people of Gibraltar and the majority of Gibraltarians want stick with the same type of relationship or even improve it. There are groups in Gibraltar and Spain that are more radical and do not want negotiation. On this side, Spanish Gibraltar is not the solution.
The United Kingdom «has given the Government of Gibraltar full freedom to negotiate Schengen and it would be wonderful if Gibraltar belonged to Schengen and there would be that fluidity of transit of people and goods. Picardo and the Spanish Foreign Minister have spoken of a great area of shared prosperity with a special tax regime. That would be wonderful for both peoples. You have to dream a bit, “added Periáñez.