GIBRALTAR is today celebrating National Day in the company of their families and close friends.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo urged people to stay home and with their families on this usual day of community celebration.
In his National Day speech given at the John Mackintosh Hall, he spoke of a year of ‘life-threatening danger focusing on the human threat that COVID represents’.
“Today, as a Gibraltarian, my heart breaks that we cannot celebrate as we usually do,” said Picardo.
“My broken heart is filled with pride when I see everything we have successfully achieved together, when I see in our generation the same grit, unity and resolve to our nation as our forefathers have shown.
“But there are tough decisions still to be made because we as a people have a responsibility to others as we have to ourselves.”
He called social media COVID-19 deniers ‘wrong’ and said they were ‘misleading the vulnerable in the community’.
Picardo also warned revellers to be ‘responsible’ throughout National Day because ‘super-spreaders’ could lead to further outbreaks.
With most of the normal annual events cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the atmosphere was more serene than previous years.
There were less flags on balconies than previous years as the national fervour gave way to community concern.
The sunny weather brought people out to their favourite beaches, however, mainly in their families and social groups.
Many were clothed in red and white as they remembered Gibraltar’s right to stay British at different points in its history.
Walk of pride
Picardo walked around Casemates Square with Governor Sir David Steel talking to some of those who gathered there for the occasion.
Steel himself said he was honoured to be celebrating National Day in a Gibraltar which was ‘an example to the world’ in how it handled the pandemic.
He recalled the 1967 and 2006 referenda where Gibraltar chose to British and said ‘this is as true today as it was then’.
On the tough times ahead the Chief Minister was resolute in his determination to get the best deal for Gibraltar.
“Our relationship with Britain is unbreakable,” affirmed Picardo.
“In that perpetual partnership with Britain we can conclude EU negotiations successfully without crossing our red lines.
“This is my guarantee to you and my promise on this National Day.”
Those red lines have been declared to be on sovereignty, giving no say to Spain on how Gibraltar is run, the true essence of the self-determination celebrated on National Day.