The GSD are accusing Mr Picardo of hiding facts in smokescreens and want to see full disclosure of the identity and interest of all investors involved in the development.
Their statement pulls no punches in their disdain of what, in their view is a concealment on fact regarding the due diligence and influencing factors in the decision made regarding the project.
Their statement includes:
"Smokescreens and lies is what Mr Picardo now resorts to in his desperate attempts to avoid the legitimate questions that the GSD have raised in relation to the Victoria Keys development. Most sectors in Gibraltar will not be surprised as all now recognize that this is all he does when the GSD or anyone corners him.
If Mr Picardo really wants people to know the full facts, he should publish the terms of, and the identity and interests of all investors involved in the Victoria Keys deal. He should not just waffle about how great the deal is but hold back from publishing to prevent anyone else evaluating his deals. This is classic Picardo. He has done that before, and he is increasingly not believable.
GSD Leader Keith Azopardi said: “The GSD will publish the terms of the deals entered into by Mr Picardo to finance the reclamation for a small privileged group of developers. We will publish them when we are elected to Government, so it is clear for everyone to see. It is therefore only a matter of time, if Gibraltar elects a GSD Government, for people to be able to see exactly what he negotiated and for whose benefit.”
Mr Azopardi is not representing anyone involved in the Victoria Keys deal. There are no conflicts of interests in respect of Victoria Keys that affect Mr Azopardi’s political work. What is inappropriate is for the Chief Minister who has interests in companies associated with Hassans to use taxpayers’ monies to assist private parties, who may have close links to him and another Minister, without going out to competitive tender. That is where the real conflict lies, and there is no getting away from it.
Even if the GSD under Peter Caruana allocated land at Coaling Island in a bid to relocate parties who had preexisting legal commitments what Sir Peter did not agree is to use taxpayers monies to fund this land reclamation for private developers. Additionally,the GSD had not agreed to the land reclamation project which will make up the vast bulk (and so the huge potential profits) of the Victoria Keys development at all. Those are two key distinctions which Mr Picardo cannot escape. The land reclamation that will be funded by the taxpayer is going to create 60,000sq m of land and is clearly the vast majority of the Victoria Keys site that the new investors will profit from.
Mr Picardo needs to stop his fake news campaign that are always full of misrepresentations. Teachers have experienced it and so many other sectors have also encountered his spin, broken promises and downright lies. He is now acquiring a reputation in Gibraltar.
Mr Azopardi added: “Instead of so much waffle and spin Mr Picardo needs to give specific answers to proper questions in the public interest such as the identity of the developers; what the cost of the reclamation will be; how many millions of taxpayers’ monies will be used; what will happen to the plots created and who will keep them and for what premium? If monies belonging to the people will be used Mr Picardo needs to account to people and explain how he is disposing of valuable land resources. This is not his money – it is the people’s money and property.”
The only mud here is the one on him. He is the Chief Minister. He has declared interests linking him to Hassans and associated persons and entities. He is the one who says he has negotiated with the developers and allowed public monies to fund the reclamation for those developers to make millions at little economic risk. He is the one in control of public monies and using them for private developers without competitive tender. He is the one to be held to account by the people of Gibraltar."