GIBRALTAR - AUGUST 06: A barbary macaque monkey in the 'Upper Rock Nature Reserve' on the Rock of Gibraltar on August 6, 2013 in Gibraltar (Getty)
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Weekly round-up: politics, business and news from Gibraltar

A selection of the key headlines about politics, economics and life on the Rock this week.

  1. Gibraltar banishes troublesome monkeys [Video]

BBC reports: “The Barbary macaques are perhaps some of Gibraltar's most famous residents. However, Gibraltar is planning to banish some of the monkeys, who they say in some cases have been behaving aggressively.”

  1. Frontier queues sustained delays over last 24 hours

GBC News reports: “Gibraltar has suffered one of the most sustained episodes of delays at the border since the PP [Partido Popular] took office in 2011. Car by car checks at the frontier were carried out up until midnight Friday, and even as early as 7.30 this morning there were six lanes of traffic at the frontier loop. The Chief Minister has described Spain’s behaviour as “irrational”.”

  1. Government dismisses Spain’s ‘fanciful’ tax claims

Gibraltar Chronicle reports: “The Spanish Government’s claim that Gibraltar costs Spain one billion euros annually in lost tax revenue has “no basis in reality or fact and represent no more than a financial flight of fancy”, the Gibraltar Government said. No 6 Convent Place was responding to comments made by Spain’s Secretary of state for Europe, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, in an interview with ABC newspaper.”

  1. Gibraltar’s GCSE pass rate down five percent from last year

GBC News reports: “The overall GCSE pass rate from grades A* to C this year is 63% – a 5% drop from last year. While Westside School maintained its 2013 pass rate of 68%, Bayside School saw a 10% drop in grades A* to C. At the College, the A* to C rate in applied subjects was over 66%.”

  1. Gibraltar Government hits out at ‘sensationalist’ reporting of EU tobacco smuggling report

The Olive Press reports: “Fake TV scenes depicting tobacco smuggling in Gibraltar have been slammed by the Gibraltar Government, following the uproar over an EU report. According to the anti-fraud office OLAF’s report, tobacco smuggling on the Rock cost the EU €700 million in tax revenue between 2010 and 2013.”

  1. Gibraltar challenges internet gambling tax

Economia reports: “The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) is preparing to legally challenge a UK gambling law, due to be introduced this December. The GBGA has filed a judicial review over the “unlawful and disproportionate” point-of-consumption tax, a 15% charge imposed on companies based on the geographical location of the gambler, rather than that of the company.”

  1. Gibraltar's First Green MEP Visits the Rock

Your Gibraltar TV reports: “Newly elected Green Party MEP for the South West and Gibraltar Molly Scott Cato today took in Gibraltar, as a constituency, for the first time, with much of her visit involving briefings on environmental issues surrounding Gibraltar, including, areas of marine conservation.”



Photo: Getty
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Morning Call: The best from Gibraltar

A selection of the best articles about politics, business and life on the Rock from the last seven days.

There will be some red eyes on the Rock this morning as politicians stayed up awaiting election results, to find eventually that the ruling party is unchanged. Yahoo! was among the first news sites with the coverage, confirming that Fabian Picardo will continue as chief minister heading up a coalition of the Socialist Labour Party and the Liberals. The Gibraltar Social Democrats, led by Daniel Feetham, won seven seats compared to the winning coalition’s ten.

Picardo won the highest number of single votes, according to GBC, followed by Joseph Garcia and Dr. John Cortes. With his 10,852 votes the chief minister won over double those of his opposite number Daniel Feetham, who had 5,054. The same report confirms that with 70.77% of the electorate choosing to vote, this is the lowest turnout for a Gibraltarian election since 1980.

There will be more on the election on our Gibraltar hub on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, life has continued as per normal on the Rock. A new money lending business has established itself, says GBC. The UK had its spending review as readers will be well aware, but details on the Rock were in short supply, said the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Most excitingly, though, it’s been revealed that “I’m A Celebrity…” star Lady Colin Campbell has links to Gibraltar. The full report is in the Olive Press, and we’d tell you more but unfortunately your editor lost the will to live half way through reading it… 

Guy Clapperton is the freelance journalist who edits the New Statesman’s Gibraltar hub. You can also find him in the Guardian, Computer Business Review and Professional Outsourcing which he edits.