Former Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson
has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Gibraltar – the Rock’s highest honour – at a ceremony held on the Rock’s National Day, Wednesday 10 September.
Sir Graham, who served Gibraltar for more than a decade in his role as Member of the European Parliament, received the honour recognition for being ‘the Rock’s staunchest supporter in Europe’ and for his work in the European Parliament since Gibraltar was added to the South West constituency in 2004.
Sir Graham lost his seat in the recent European election
, but in Gibraltar almost 70% of voters on the Rock voted for him.
Earlier this year, a motion before Gibraltar’s Parliament to confer on Sir Graham this honour was adopted unanimously
. The honour was presented by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo “for his outstanding defence of the interests of Gibraltar and promotion of the wishes of the people of Gibraltar in the European Parliament and elsewhere.”
Keen to maintain their presence in Brussels, Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia told GBC during the live broadcast of National Day
he felt that, because of his contacts and positioning in Brussels, Sir Graham Watson would be the ideal candidate to take up the role of official representative in the European Capital. Dr Garcia said he would be delighted to see Sir Graham in such a role.
For his part, Sir Graham told GBC
he thought it was important to keep Gibraltar’s presence in Europe strong, and believed the Gibraltar Government was doing that right. He said he was sure that Gibraltar’s recently elected MEPs would be keeping up the pressure on the powers that be.
Labels: Graham Watson