11 May, 2010 @ 10:16
1 min read

Gibraltar set to reveal all

DECADES of financial secrecy may soon be over after Gibraltar began negotiations with Spain to increase its fiscal transparency.

Tax evaders could be forced to look elsewhere after the countries agreed in principle to an unprecedented exchange of monetary information.

It came after the world’s most powerful countries – the G-20 – threatened offshore tax havens with sanctions if they refused to share financial information.

“The proposals have been agreed in principle and, as far as Gibraltar is concerned, we could sign a deal tomorrow,” said Gibraltar Chief Minister Peter Caruana.

“We don’t want to be seen as a threat to Spain’s treasury.”

Gibraltar’s status as a tax haven has earned it a reputation for as a popular haunt for millionaires wanting to hide illicit funds.

“The proposals have been agreed in principle and, as far as Gibraltar is concerned, we could sign a deal tomorrow.”

But in order to adhere to the G-20’s requirements Gibraltar must pass on six criteria, which include economic cooperation, political structure and even environment.

“We are trying to fulfil all the conditions and more because, being Spain’s direct neighbour, we understand that they would feel the most threatened,” added Caruana.

Spain has already agreed to share information with eight countries, including Luxembourg and Andorra.

So far 18 countries with evasive reputations are complying with the G-20’s demands and Gibraltar is keen to follow suit.

“There is no alternative, the world is changing and Gibraltar must adapt,” explained former minister and lawyer Peter Montegriffo.

“Caribbean islands may take a while longer to comply with the legislation but this is not possible in Europe.

“It is impossible to operate in this day and age without transparency.”

However, before any deal is struck, Spain is demanding the involvement of the British government.

Officials don’t view Gibraltar as influential enough to negotiate a deal without the aid of the UK.

“We will endeavour to improve the cooperation on fiscal matters,” said a Spanish Foreign Office spokesperson.

Yet Gibraltar is refusing to call on the involvement of Britain, citing that none of the 18 international agreements already made have required London’s stamp.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. “We will endeavour to improve the cooperation on fiscal matters,” – Yeah right. The Spanish delight in being petty and uncooperative on all matters from creating delays at the border, down to blocking Gibraltarian GSM phones from working.
    Some heads in Madrid need knocking together. Let’s hope Dave Cameron will have the cojones to stand up to the fascist bullies in Madrid.

  2. The only fascist here are the one’s who maintain colonies in the XXI century and pretend to hold them based on liberal principles. Ever heard of the story of the wolf on the lamb skin?

  3. Argentina claims the Falklands because they’re on the “Argentine” continental shelf. On that basis Sasha should add Canarias to the list, not to mention the other colonial anachronisms Spain continues to hold in Morocco or in Moroccan waters like the Chafarinas, their own “Gibraltar” at Velez de la Gomera and Perejil. For goodness sake, Perejil does not even have a resident population, so how Spain can justify hanging onto a bit of unpopulated rock 200 yards from the Moroccan coast beats me…

  4. As usual, wolves come in packs.

    Learn History from Sacha? How can I learn History from people who think that Ceuta and Melilla are colonies. Those other spots you mention are there for a defensive nature, without Ceuta and Melilla Perejil would be meaningless.

    Whoever thinks those Spanish cities are colonies should take a look at what the UN says about it. Last Spanish colonies where given away in 1975.

    The Argentine argument has nothing to be with Spain’s position. Both cities have the same relation with the mainland as an archipielago would have. In fact they are practically in territorial continuity if it weren’t for a 15 km wide strip of water.

  5. Carlos, I see you deftly avoided addressing the Chafarinas, Velez de la Gomera and the most absurd example of a “colony in the XXI century”… Perejil.

  6. @Justin

    In my opinion those are simple defensive outposts that can be given away when the right climate is created between the Kingdom of Morroco and Spain. I won’t hold to a rock of unfertile land.

    However, that’s up to Spain to decide and by no means those spots can be considered colonies under international law.

    All this fuss about Ceuta and Melilla is an usual distraction tactics. We all know that if Spain hadn’t Ceuta and Melilla then the recurrent argument would then refer to the Canary Islands, and if we didnt have them it would be the Balearic islands, or Catalonia, and so on and on and on. The bottom line is looking for ways to distract the attention over Gibraltar.

    And for the other chaps in the team I just wish them a pleasant stay on Spanish soil which they probably enjoy with all the benefits and nil responsabilities.

  7. Hanging onto Perejil because it’s a defensive outpost is nothing more than absurd. If you’ve crossed the land border at Ceuta you’ll know that is simply nonsense.

    As for the other “plazas”, the Chafarinas are 45km from Melilla, Alhucemas 84km from Melilla and 146km from Ceuta and Velez de Gomera 120km from Ceauta and even further from Melilla. How you could possibly argue that these are even remotely defensive is a mystery.

    As for international law, please point us all in the direction of any of it which says Gibraltar must be Spanish? You forget that the Gibraltar is on the C24 list because the UK voluntarily placed it there in 1948. Spain simply chose not to add the Plazas de Soberania to that list. You have a case for Ceuta and Melilla but for the others the situation is nothing more than colonialism of the worst kind.

  8. Carlos, what benefits are you talking about? Expatriates who come to Spain are a benefit TO Spain. Property taxes, income taxes, supporting businesses by using their services and buying their goods, sending children to Spanish schools etc etc, all supports Spain, does it not? Spain also takes massive benefits from the EU fund, billions of euros, so Spain is benefitting that way too.

    The benefits expats receive from Spain are mainly paid for by expatriates, Carlos. Ok, the climate is nice but we don’t control that, and in any event, the next 3 months are hell for living and working. Always nice chatting with you lol.

  9. The reason why the UK placed those terrotories there wasn’t simply to clean his image towards the world for being the greatest imperialistic-colonialistic nation the world has ever known.

    In the case of Gibraltar there was a clear attempt to create a friendly puppet pseudo-independent state in the mediterranean where they could still keep their military facilities. Of course the Spanish diplomacy didn’t fall in the trap.

    At the same time it was a clear attempt to by-pass Utrecht without even consulting Spain about it. The UK has been asked by the UN repeatedly to resolve Gibraltar status in negotiations with Spain, which means there will ever be a solution for Gibraltar final status if Spain doesn’t agrees with it. So if sovereignty isn’t returned or shared with Spain, Gibraltar will remain in the international limbus it is at present times. At least until Spain or the UK ceases to be.

    They are defensive outposts not just for their proximity, but as landmarks between both that help on patroling, surveillance and communications. However it’s status is not colonial and I can foresee that the pressence in those islands is not quintassential for Spain. And could be perhaps given away if it is not perceived in both shores as an act of weakness.

  10. Carlos, why do you care so much about Gibraltar? The Gibraltarians categorically do want to be Spanish. Do you believe that Gibraltarians should be able to make up their own minds about sovereignty should do as Madrid says? Your mindset is that of a fascist, which is unsurprising really. I won’t write any more posts as you are replying with incoherent bullsh*t. I think that you are jealous that Spain lost their empire and is a poor relation in the EU who may have to drop out of the Eurozone soon. Why do think the Gibraltarians prefer the British over Spain? Honestly I would like to know what goes through that blinkered little fascist brain of yours. Also Northern Europeans are the only reason the Costa del Sol has an economy. Without us guiris, Marbella would be little different to La Linea.

  11. @Fred

    I do understand the benefits of brits, french, norwegian, german expats living in southern Spain. But as a local from the people who has welcome their pressence in here I can’t avoid to feel annoyed to see how this massive amount of people don’t show an iota of empathy, or simple understanding, about how the Spanish feel about the absolute negative to discuss about Gibraltar.

  12. @Sacha

    I will avoid discussing with someone who makes his mouthful calling everyone a fascist. I won’t fall into your dirty game. Self-determination does not apply to Gibraltar status, the UN repeatedly said it. Period. But of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if you called the UN a fascist organization, that even dares to put obstacles to the anglo-american global domination agenda.

  13. No Carlos, the UN is not Fascist. Franco was a fascist. Most South American countries have been ruled by tyrants and dictators since the Spanish arrived and butchered the natives, and stole their land and gold.

  14. Spain is cellebrating the Bicentenial of independence in South America. Please get your facts updated. If it weren’t for the gold for a moment I thought you were speaking about Admiral George Rooke.

  15. Carlos, surely if the UK had wanted Gibraltar as a military base, the last thing they would have done is give Gibraltar some form of autonomy? On top of that, the British military presence on the rock is now a small fraction of what it was before, so I don’t think your assertion really stands up to scrutiny.

    By-pass Utrecht? What? The UN Charter and subsequent international law sent Utrecht crashing and burning a long ago. No Jews and Moors etc…

    There is not a single UN GA or SC resolution which says the only outcome to Gibraltarian decolonisation is a handover to Spain – so why does sovereignty have to be “returned or shared with Spain”? The status quo is perfectly acceptable to the UN, as is outright independence.

    Every single UN resolution references the right to self determination. Why can’t a so called “democratic” Spain not accept the Gibraltarians’ democratic rights? What is so difficult about that? Why does Spain suddenly come over all Francoist when it comes to Gibraltar? I would love to know… You might be right about Gibraltar remaining in some limbo, but that is only as long as the C24 remains as it is. If there is reform, Spain could end up being surprised.

    As for the Plazas. Surveillance and communications? In this day and age? Please! As for patrolling. They are all in Moroccan waters? That doesn’t make much sense. I agree that it’s all about not wanting to display weakness. Nothing more.

  16. “Self-determination does not apply to Gibraltar status, the UN repeatedly said it.”

    I’d love to know where the UN said that Carlos, perhaps you could post a link or something?

  17. First,

    The Treaty of Utrecht is stil in force. Both parties have not rejected it and agree of its validity. Of course many of its content has rendered void (moors, jews…) but in respect to the territorial claim and the first to opt part it is still in force. That’s the reason why Spain insists in separating the issues of the inner-wall Gibraltar, the waters, airspace and itmus in its territorial claim.


    There are UN resolutions that support Spanish position on the issue, some of them even condemn the 1969 referendum. We can argue if the handover is clear on them or not, but what is out of question is that the UN recognized Spanish right over the Rock and repeatedly makes a call to both Governments to resume talks. Gibraltar is on the UN decolonization list and probably will remain there until a satisfactory solution is achieved. But this is something you should already know.

    I’m often surprised how some brits are more Catholics than the Pope on this, succesive British Governments (tories and labourists) have acknowledge Spanish claim on sovereignty and negotiated about it.


    Britain maintains its military agenda over Gibraltar, it organizes regular military manouvers air, sea and land, keeps troops on the ground, has radars and God knows whatelse. Giving a voice for the gibraltarian was not only an act of democracy but also a way to legitimate its presence with the excuse of a dispute created by them.

  18. Carlos, the ToU was overtaken by international law decades ago, it is completely irrelevant.

    You have failed to answer my question. Where exactly has the UN specifically denied Gibraltartarians the right to self determination? You have not pointed to any specific resolution, which spells this out. All you have done above is rambled on, ranging over various topics around the issue, giving your own opinion about them. Something specific please Carlos. You stated that self determination does not apply and that the UN “repeatedly said this”. Perhaps you can point us in the direction of resolutions where the UN says this?

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