National Day Message from the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi

By 8th September 2022 No Comments

GSD Confident About Making Gibraltar Stronger, More Prosperous and a Better Place To Live

National Day is always an opportunity to come together as a people to share our common values.
The Casemates Political rally returns this year after the pandemic years. It provides, once again, a chance for us to celebrate our rights as a people. It is an important reminder of where we have come from, of our shared endurance of current challenges and our aspirations for the future.

Big challenges remain for Gibraltar both internationally and domestically. Obtaining a safe and beneficial agreement with the EU on a future relationship is the most important post-Brexit challenge that affects our political future and can have lasting effects on our economic model and sustainability. Equally the parallel economic challenge of ensuring we emerge from the current public finances crisis is a significant hurdle to overcome. In that slipstream many people will be worse off because of the state of public finances combined with the rising inflation, eroding wages, higher taxes and fees and the resulting cost of living crisis. It is a fact that many people will have less in their pocket this year as they face the daily task of meeting their obligations and caring for their families.

National Day is not just a celebration of our rights. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm our desire to ensure that our Gibraltar is a politically free, economically sustainable place to live where there is the highest quality of life, the fullest rights as citizens, the best probity of governance with the best public services and highest standards of living possible.

In that aspirational reaffirmation it is important to note the economic divisions in our community, the pressures on some families and those who feel left behind socially or economically, the under-privileged and those whose grievances are not listened to. In celebrating what we have achieved so far we have to acknowledge that there is also much to be done and that acknowledgement is positive for our small nation.

If there is something to strive for so that we honour the commitment and work of previous generations who worked so hard to create the modern Gibraltar we enjoy it is to ensure that we do our best to raise the quality of life and standard of living of all our citizens and obtain international recognition of the rights of the people who live in this beautiful country we are proud to call our home.

National Day is not just about political rights. It is about our people and all their facets, challenges and aspirations. Together we can make our country stronger, more prosperous and a better place to live. The GSD Opposition are confident about our future and are determined to ensure we take the next firm steps to raising Gibraltar to that level which we can achieve when we are next given the privilege of leading this community.

On behalf of my colleagues, our families and myself I wish you and your families a happy National Day.