14 May, 2013 @ 18:47
1 min read

We are fighting tax evasion says Gibraltar’s Picardo

fabian picardo tells spain to drop sovreignty claim

By Rebecca Maguire

GIBRALTAR has promised to help Spain uncover any suspected tax evasion on the Rock.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo insisted that he was prepared to give out information of any Spanish tax evaders if necessary.

Defending the Rock’s reputation during a lecture on the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht in Sevilla, he stressed that Gibraltar fully complied with EU and international regulations on money laundering and tax evasion.

He explained, “The fact Gibraltar is on the white list tells you it is not a tax haven.”

He continued: “We have shown a readiness to help Spain to identify possible tax evasion on the Rock, but we have not had a single request for data from the Spanish authorities.”

Since the beginning of 2013, Gibraltar has been part of a multilateral agreement to share tax information between E.U. members.

But the Spanish government does not believe the system is effective, so the fight against tax fraud is high on the agenda of the next European summit on May 22.

Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro recently announced the creation of a government working group to focus specifically on Spanish tax evasion in Gibraltar.

He believes the problem is costing Spain hundreds of millions of euros every year.

However, according to the Chief Minister, “The world regards Gibraltar as a fully compliant financial services jurisdiction much as Frankfurt, London, Paris or Madrid and it is only Spain that continues to beat Gibraltar with the label of tax haven for its own nefarious purposes.”

Gibraltar’s corporate tax is now 10%, compared with Spain’s 30%, but Picardo cited Ireland as another EU country with similar corporation tax levels to Gibraltar.

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.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. Gibraltar, (along with Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands and dozens of other off-shore centres) IS a Tax Haven no matter what the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo may claim.

    These places rely on total secrecy to allow $billions to wash through them every day of the week – it’s what they do and the last thing they are ever going to do is to own up to their fraud. When huge sums of money are at stake you keep your mouth shut if you value your knee caps!

    That Gibraltar has not had a single request for data on Spanish tax evaders from the Spanish authorities is not surprising … the Spanish know that they will only be given a load of Tommy Rot!

    Gibraltar is a obnoxious place operating in breach of international treaties including the Treaty of Utrecht which ceded the rock from Spain to Britain only providing certain conditions continued to be met, many of which Britain has broken. It earns huge sums of cash out of money laundering, people smuggling, and drug/tobacco running that it is no wonder that the Spanish want it back to return it to legality.

    And don’t start me on that silly plebiscite/referendum where the people of Gibraltar are asked to vote on their future because that is just a joke …

  2. Oh dear, Maria was talking some sense on other threads and then came out with “is no wonder that the Spanish want it back to return it to legality” lol. Maria, the Spanish have no concept of the word “legality”. If they did then the country would not be so corrupt would it?

  3. Hi Fred

    For all its faults Spain still does better than Greece, Italy and Portugal in the European corruption league and the Spanish government under Rojas is trying hard to tackle domestic tax evasion (if not corruption in the 17 autonomous communities) hence Module 720 and other new initiatives announced recently

    Returning Gibraltar to some sort of legality will never happen under present “arrangements”… too many vested interests in organized crime including international tax evasion and I would suggest that compared to Gibraltar Spain could be viewed as (almost) a legal jurisdiction.

    I do admit to having had dealings with tax havens and suffering from their illegal activities so perhaps I may be biased. But not much!

  4. Around the turn of the century the British ex-pat pensioner community was being racked by numerous bogus “financial advisors” conning them into “investing” their life savings in what at first appeared to be “reputable” financial “products” but were (in many cases) glorified Ponzi schemes.

    And where were these products based?
    In off-shore centres like the Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.

    Hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of pensioners were being fleeced of their life savings and in the absence of any meaningful intervention by the Spanish authorities some brave and fearless victims set-up the “Costa Del Sol Action Group” (www.costa-action.co.uk) to help protect vulnerable people from being conned.

    The group had some spectacular results closing down at least a dozen phony companies posing as bona fide professional advisors operating on the Spanish Costas – and more importantly cutting-off the supply of dodgy financial “products” supplied from off-shore centres.

    To date the group has recouped in excess of FOUR million pounds on behalf of British pensioners!

    Many British ex-pats living in Spain (including me) owe a debt of gratitude to the Costa Del Sol Action Group and the fact that the group is still in existence to day (but in a less aggressive form) provides a continuing deterrent to prevent bogus financial advisors selling dodgy investment products based in off-shore centres.

  5. Maria please get your facts right before writing such dribble, Gibraltar is on the white list of the OCD and even the EU now admit that GIB is not a tax haven.As for legality in Spain why don,t you ask Spanish ministers about their accounts in Swiss banks.You sound more like MARIANO than Maria.

  6. Hi Barry

    Gibraltar may claim that it is not a tax haven but it is certainly a highly secretive off-shore financial centre with little understanding of the word “transparency” – and although the financial services industry in Gibraltar may appear to have cleaned-up its act it is difficult to gauge how much of this is promotional hype courtesy of a generous public relations budget.

    In the past Gibraltar based “investment” companies imported dodgy financial “products” into Spain without permission from the Spanish regulator (CNMV) and used unregulated, unqualified and unlicensed so-called “financial advisors” to push these products onto unsuspecting British pensioners, who would later lose a large part of their life savings.
    The Gibraltar financial regulator – The Financial Services Commission – would provide no assistance in this matter..

    And “think-tanks” like the OECD are either a fiasco whose forecasts are wrong and/or merely lobbying groups. And as the OECD “white list” also features the well-known tax dodgers paradise known as the Cayman Islands do not place much faith in this! As for the EU most intelligent people require substantial proof before accepting many of their announcements.

    When you suggest that you have evidence of tax evasion by Spanish government ministers presumably you are referring to Sen.Luis Barcenas, who is alleged to hold 22 million euros in Swiss bank accounts – if you have evidence of other tax evaders you are required by Spanish law to make this information available to the Ministro de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas

    As you say it is important to get your facts right ….

  7. A country that has been mired in corruption for decades and which has no credibility in its legal system at all, should not lecture others on issues of legality. As for modulo 720, the ordinary people being targeted have already paid taxes on their savings and the issue is nothing to do with Spain, whatsoever, and the law is currently being challenged in the EU courts. If Spain was serious about corruption it would have acted years ago. Knee-jerking is Spain’s speciality these days.

  8. Dear Mr Crawford

    One could write a book about the distasteful and mysterious “City of London”.
    Well someone already has – read Nicholas Shaxson “Treasure Islands”…

    Here the City is described as a country within a country with its own “government” older than the UK’s parliament and how tax evasion industry is now a highly sophisticated business with the City at the hub of a web of off shore centres (tax havens) spread around the world. And how shell companies are formed with no known beneficial owners (and blind trusts held inside added “trusts”) are constructed with an ability to “fly” – so that when one country’s tax authorities begin to get warm on a company (say) in Jersey the opaque company can “fly” to (say) the Cayman Islands and keep “flying” to other off shore centres until the tax authorities become fed up of pursuing it – or meet with an “accident”.

    Sure the “City” is a mesmerising accommodation where the smartest brains in “finance” earn millions of dollars a year – it is also the place that many of the UK’s top politicians/businesses hide/protect their wealth, so things will never change….

    Read the book. You will not be disappointed!

  9. Hi Fred

    I note your remarks but …

    GIBRALTAR’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has promised to help the Spanish government “uncover” Spanish tax evaders and claims that Gibraltar is fully complied with EU and international regulations on money laundering and tax evasion by parroting the OECD – a think tank (with few if any statutory powers) and its discredited “white list”.

    He goes onto quote another an OECD initiative -… the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) a multilateral agreement to share tax information between E.U. members. Amongst the signatories are Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man who are not members of the EU and Gibraltar whose status is describes as as a “European territory”.

    However the TIEA is fundamentally flawed (and the Spanish government knows this) because any country requesting information from another regarding banking “irregularities” is required to provide the other country with evidence of criminal activity….. Which if the country had in the first place they could mount its own prosecution without resorting to another! A classic Catch 22 situation.

    The simple reason why the Spanish government have never asked Gibraltar for any information regarding Spanish nationals/residents banking “affairs” on the Rock is that they do not have the required evidence that would persuade Gibraltar to tip-up the information … And the reason why the government have introduced Modelo 720 to track bank accounts hidden in offshore tax havens is because they have no other alternative.

    So relax the only way that offshore bank accounts are discovered is by bank employee “whistle blowers” passing-on information – not withstanding that tax evasion is a serious criminal offence subject to very heavy fines and perhaps a custodial sentence….

    There are 18,000 (Spain claims 30,000) registered companies domiciled in Gibraltar?
    Now there’s a thing?

  10. Hi JA Roberts

    Open Ended Collective Investment Schemes (société d’investissement à capital variable or SICAV) are common enough investment vehicles – usually open to professional investors only – and in the case of those domiciled on Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are not subject to any tax.

    In Spain SICAVs are operated as public limited companies and subject to only 1% corporation tax. Some would claim that this is a way mitigating corporation tax and that Spain is acting like a tax haven…, but Spanish SACAVs are very closely regulated, subject to strict operating directives and structured in such a way that large companies like Vodaphone, Starbucks, and Apple cannot use them for tax avoidance tricks.

    Compared to some of the financial algorithms operating out of the City of London Spanish SICAVs are pussy cats.

  11. Well done indeed JA Roberts …..

    Apparently the rest of the world is not to be allowed to share your greater knowledge regarding Spanish SICAVs…. perhaps because this because it too would be easily traceable to the internet.

    Knowledge is a wonderful thing – to keep to yourself!
    You would be welcome in Gibraltar where secrecy is everything!

  12. Fred. Agreed but the article above is about Gibraltar being (or pretending to be) an open and law-abiding jurisdiction – when clearly it is not.

    Equally clearly neither at present is Spain – the pot calling the kettle black?
    (With sincere apologies to our coloured brethren).

  13. Tthe information is all out there in the public domain, Maria. I’m not talking about SICAVs in general but Spanish SICAVs.

    Spanish SICAVs are not tightly regulated, the very opposite is true. The CNMV’s right hand doesn’t know what it’s left hand is doing. They are the go-to vehicle for aggressive tax avoidance, and that includes companies, like Zara, so stop telling porkies.

    Algothrithms don’t operate by the way, if you think that then you obviously don’t know what an algorithm is….

  14. Dear JA Roberts

    Thank you for your guidance.
    Discounting “porkies” how did I manage to survive without your continuing advice?

    May I respectfully remind you that tax “avoidance” is a legal means of mitigating tax owed and tax “evasion” is a criminal offence which no doubt the people at Google, Amazon, and Starbucks are well aware of.

    Why is it so important that Zara (according to you) limits corporation tax exposure to 1% by using SICAVs? Consider the advantages/money that companies like Zara bring to Spain…

    • Employment
    • IVA
    • Business IBI
    • Employer NI
    • Employee Seguridad Social
    • Community benefit
    • National Status

    If typical profit margins are 5-10% and the Exchequer (Hacienda) were to collect perhaps 10% of this via Corporation Tax then this is a relatively insignificant amount in comparison. Do you really want to condemn ZARA‘s excellent business model just to screw them for a few more euros in tax?

    Considering you are unable to spell the word “algorithms” correctly are you sufficiently qualified to comment on their “operation” ?

    In fact algorithms are used extensively in financial planning. Actuaries for example rely on them for estimating/ anticipating life/risk. Similarly highly complex tax avoidance/evasion structures make collective use of algorithms.

    Put simply Algorithms are computer processes/formulas that ask questions and turn them into answers, a valuable tool in forensic accounting and sophisticated tax planning – and increasingly used in byzantine financial crime which may also involve the City of London.


  15. Maria,
    from previous posts you like to blame Spain’s problems on ‘no shoulders’ Zapatero and the commie pinkos in general. When in reality it was the old Fascist parties now known as the PP that started the whole over building fiasco that leaves Spain in it’s present basket case state.

    If you got burnt in the past by using tax havens that only means you were trying to evade paying legitimate taxes elsewhere?

    As an ardent supporter of Anglo-Saxon capitalism it’s rather hypocritical to criticise tax havens since they were created by the western elites to hide their wealth.

    Spain always has been a corrupt and incompetent country and has wasted vast amounts of subsidies supplied by northern Europe on stupid ego trips – don’t forget that just one century after looting Central and South America of vast amounts of gold and silver Spain went bankrupt four times.

    As to whether Gibralter is a legitimate entity you would have to be either an Euskadi or Iberian Celt to make that critical statement. Your surname suggests a Britonic connection, these Celts never inhabited the peninsular and I get the distinct impression that you are of ‘Spanish’ blood – time to go back and study the real history of Spain.

  16. Oh Maria don’t start on accidental misspellings (JKR already spelt the word correctly elsewhere). I was beggining to like your posts but now you’re becoming an insufferable bore. I do like your little bullet points though lol.

    As for Zara’s ‘excellent business model’, they use sweatshops and exploit children for labour. Is that part of an excellent business model in your opinion?

  17. Hi Fred

    I really enjoy responding to your posts, you are one of the more energetic contributors to this publication.

    Top Tip – Instead of resorting to personal insults (like describing people you have never met as “insufferable bores”)why not try constructive criticism of their views – and perhaps formulate some of your own.

    I agree that it is an unfortunate fact of life that many EU based clothing companies operating in a globalised and competitive industry now export their labour/manufacturing requirements to third world countries where sweat shops and child labour are an unfortunate part of their “culture”.

    And my opinion? Would that it were otherwise!
    Glad you like my posts and I reciprocate the compliment.


  18. Hi Stuart Crawford

    I prefer to distance myself from right/left wing bickering between anarchists, communists and fascists – sufficient to say that I have read many books on recent Spanish history and in my view the socialists have won the (false) propaganda contest by a country kilometre! But then Hollywood always was riddled with commies (that’s supposed to be a joke Fred!)

    Not that it is any of your business but I have never held an offshore bank account, all my financial dealings are entirely transparent and would pass the closest inspection by the Hacienda – Modelo 720 included! I despise off-shore tax havens for other reasons.

    My views on Gibraltar are integrate into a Spanish perspective and are clear enough without repeating.

    As to Celtic DNA … there are parts of Almeria where local blood types are very similar to those of the Welsh suggesting some inter-colonisation between Spain and the Principality in earlier times. Apart from my husband playing rugby for a Welsh club I do not think there is any of this DNA in our family!

    We have lived for many years (and many parts) of Spain and notwithstanding the vigorous and not always successful historical activities of Spanish Empire like to consider ourselves at least half-Spanish, – despite most of our many Spanish friends still referring to us as “guiris”.

    I will take your valued advice and undertake further study “of the real history of Spain” hopefully from sources free from left-wing bias.

  19. Maria, you must learn to take a joke. Perhaps Stuart was correct when he said you might be Spanish? Anyway, we have met before – online, and I love constructive criticism, especially when you do a u-turn lol.

  20. Maria, you do seem quite confused. First you assert that corporates cannot make the use of Spanish SICAVs, but then go on to defend Zara for doing exactly that – not to mention defending aggressive tax avoidance, when earlier you seem to disapprove of corporates using “tax avoidance tricks”.

    Right from the start you have made assertions which are simply nonsense. You call Gibraltar an “off shore” centre. Well considering it is part of the EU and operates under EU law it’s hardly off shore, is it?

    I don’t know why you bring up the Treaty of Utrecht. When Spain ratified the UN Charter the ToU received a mortal blow, that’s if you don’t believe it was abrogated centuries ago with the first Spanish seige of Gibraltar.

    You assert that Gibraltar relies on “total secrecy”, which is demonstrably untrue and if that really was the case then every other EU member state would be fully able to rely on exactly the same “total secrecy”. Something we all know is nonsense.

    The reason you give for Spain not requesting data from Gibraltar is totally untrue. Over 20 other jurisdictions, including EU member states, have signed TIEAs with Gibraltar. If it’s good enough for them, why is it not good enough for Spain? Well, it’s because Spain’s stated policy that they will not deal directly with Gibraltarian authorities, as that would imply recognition. We all know that is the real reason. You state that TIEAs are flawed because criminal activity needs to be be proved by the requesting party with is completely false. As long as a person is under investigation according to the laws of the requesting jurisdiction then that is sufficient grounds to request information. It’s obvious that you have never read a TIEA.

    Gibraltar a centre for money laundering, people smuggling and drug running? Are you a spokesperson for the PP by any chance? There is no evidence to suggest that any of those things are any worse in Gibraltar than they are in other EU countries or territories. In fact they are an order of magnitude worse in Spain than they are in Gibraltar. It’s a fact that at least 20% of the Spanish economy is “negro”, it is well known that Spain has a serious human trafficking problem, one of the worst in the EU, and there is wide consensus that Spain is the gateway to Europe for hard drugs. What happens in Gibraltar is a drop in the ocean compared to what happens in Spain, yet you seem to think Spain is whiter than white.

    So, you think democracy and self-determination are a joke. That says a lot. I bet you think a bit of fascism is a good thing too – it got the motorways built in Germany and the the Italian trains to run on time, so it must be good. Pity about all the millions who died needlessly as a result though…

    “Returning Gibraltar to some sort of legality”? What exactly is illegal about Gibraltar? Care to explain?

    Hundreds of pensioners were fleeced of their life savings because Spain did not regulate or oversee “IFAs” in any way. I can’t see why the fact that Spain allowed (and still allows) crooks and theves to operate with no controls or oversight should be the fault of other jurisdictions? Many people were flogged worthless timeshare too. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is, and most of these “products” really were too good to be true. Some of the worst boiler-room frauds up and down the costas were operated out of the UK.

    Thanks for pointing out my typo by the way. I managed to spell algorithm correctly the second time in that same sentence. Algorithms are used in all sorts of applications. That doesn’t mean there is something illegal or bad about them as you try to suggest.

    Try and stick to the facts instead of trotting out the tired old and discredited PPero line about Gibraltar.

  21. Hi JA Roberts

    Yes I’ve got the message. You are a leftie who prefers Gibraltar to Spain and tries to justify your socialist arguments by confusing simple issues.

    Meanwhile I am right-wing devotee and a proud and enthusiastic PP supporter – fed-up of reading the incessant bleating from the lefties attempting to pervert and corrupt facts in support of a distorted psuedo-communist polemic.

    No doubt your views on the Civil War will have an equally warped leftie perspective.

    Suggest you read the memoirs of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – they will give you even more ammunition to corrupt the truth about this great nation.

    No doubt you will respond with another lengthy, boring and confused diatribe – Don’t bother because I won’t read it.

    Love Maria xxx

  22. Hi Stefano

    In your rush to commit your drivel to paper you failed to check the facts.

    It is the Tories that are calling UKIP supporters “swivel-eyed loons”.

    To further improve your understanding of UK politics see posts submitted in this publication under the article “Will UKIP Rock the Rock?”

    Trust you are enjoying doing whatever socialists do on such a pleasant evening. Maria

  23. Maria Jones,
    you simply don’t see do you, that we all see you as a ranting extreme rightwing nutjob.

    You know absolutely nothing about European Celtic history – try reading ‘The Welsh’ by John Davies who is a highly respected historian.

    What a tragedy for Europe as a whole that Al Andaluz fell to the barbarians who wilfully destroyed the first universities and forced the Arab and Jewish intelligensia to accept the obscenity of Rome.

    As you will know I’m sure that Gibralter is named after an Arab Semite who brought his people to live on the previously uninhabited rock.

    Your whole seriously dysfunctional argument on blaming commie pinko socialists for the near meltdown of the world’s financial markets and for tax havens makes sense only if you change your name to Aunt Sally.

  24. To JA Roberts

    To be precise the comment was directed at Tory activists who were supporting UKIP – ie UKIP supporters.

    I doubt that you are enough of a gentleman to apologise, and frankly I don’t care for you or your silly remarks.

    Anyone using the tired old cliché (or acronym) “laugh out loud” can not be taken seriously anyway.

    Have a nice day. Maria

  25. Dear Stuart

    Have you finally flipped? Can you really be serious in blaming the Christian forces of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella for Spain’s present predicament?

    I suggest that your hero Zapatero and his communist union mates may be slightly more to blame. Perhaps reading some history yourself may calm you down a little and I trust that you don’t find it too taxing ….

    Just as the Franco-Italian anarchist miner Lawrence Storione imported revolutionary ideas to the Fife area of Scotland, so too did Spanish anarchist and socialist miners and steelworkers to South Wales in similarly little known circumstances.

    The Orconero Iron Ore Company in northern Spain had been a subsidy of the Dowlais Iron Company in South Wales since 1873. In 1900 several hundred Spanish workers and their families were brought to Dowlais from northern Spain in what was seen as a way of undercutting wages for Welsh workers. A street was specifically built for them in Dowlais- King Alphonso Street after the then Spanish monarch Alfonso XII and two areas of the town were given over to them.

    However if the idea was to undercut the Welsh workers, it was a bad plan as most of those who came to South Wales were socialist or anarchist workers who had themselves been victimised for activity in Spain. They joined the local unions straight away. Shortly after, several Spanish families moved to the anthracite mining village of Abercrave in the Swansea Valle to work for a French mining company that had opened up the International Colliery there.
    “Abercrave, a quiet little mining village of only a few thousand inhabitants at the top of the Swansea Valley, has now become one of the most cosmopolitan in the district.

    In addition to the Welsh, English, Scotch and Irish residing in the locality, there has been a strong influx during the past few years of Frenchman, Spaniards, Portuguese, Germans, Belgians &c, and employment has been found for them in the local collieries. The Spaniards form the strongest colony, and it is computed that there are over 200 in all” ( quoted in O’Leary). In Abercrave the Spanish settled on Davies Street and Brooklands Terrace, a line of single story two-room cottages. The area became known as Spanish Row or Espaniardos Row.

    Among those who came to Wales was the anarchist Melchor Esteban. He had been a steel worker in Bilbao. Anarchist and atheist, he obtained work at the Dowlais Ironworks in 1907 and shortly after moved to the International Colliery at Abercrave. He had brought his family with him including his son Gregorio, born in 1887, who was to later to volunteer for the International Brigades during the Civil War.

    The anarchist paper Freedom first mentioned the Spanish communities in Wales in June 1901, as the result of a visit to Dowlais by the Spanish anarchist Tarrida del Marmol and the London Welsh anarchist Sam Mainwaring (they were collaborating on an anarchist paper The General Strike). Mainwaring had conducted the first socialist tour of South Wales in alongside fellow Socialist Leaguer Frank Kitz in 1887 and had set up the South Wales Socialist Society in Landore in 1892. Through the use of Spanish by del Marmol and of Welsh and English by Mainwaring, they were able to sooth tensions between the different communities.

    Tensions once more came to the boil in 1913, when feelings emerged among Welsh miners that ”trade unionists of good character” had been thrown out of work in favour of “strangers”. Within a month the number of Spanish workers was commented on, though with the proviso that most conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and had good relations with native workers. Some of the Spanish, including the children, spoke Welsh and English fluently, and there were numbers of young Spanish workers who prided themselves on raising their cultural level through self-education.

    Both Melchor Esteban and another anarchist Victoriano Lafuente were active on local lodge committees of the South Wales Miners Federation. None of the Spanish were even known to be behind with their SWMF dues (apparently many of the Spanish boys were good at rugby, some graduating to premier clubs where they had distinguished careers).
    Less than a month later there was a meeting of workers from the Abercrave, International and Gwaunyclalwdd collieries, which considered whether it was advisable to employ Spanish, French and German workers.

    Committees were formed with the aim of approaching management to make sure that no more foreigners would be employed at the three collieries.

    In this situation the anarchist Guy Aldred made an appeal to the Welsh miners: “You are workers. So are your foreign comrades of the pick and shovel…Your choice is between revolution and increasing slavery. But you will not ensure your emancipation by fighting your fellow-slaves. It is the system, the principle of profit, the aggression of Mammon which you have to war against . Not your fellow workers”.

    Wil Jon Edwards, a local socialist who shared many of Aldred’s views voiced a similar position in the local press but was careful not to mention revolution.
    The troubled situation continued into the next year with accusations that the buildings the Spanish, French and Italians occupied were over-crowded, that they lived in ‘disgusting conditions’.

    An anti-foreigner demonstration was organised and plans for a strike that was narrowly averted. There was an incident between a Spanish workers and locals. But all the Spanish workers were in the South Wales Miners Federation and they strenuously denied the charges against them.
    Melchor Esteban followed this up with an appeal for international solidarity : “Fellow workers of Abercrave do not besmirch the fair reputation of the Welsh collier for love of freedom and chivalrous readiness to succour the weak and harbour the oppressed”… “Fellow workmen, I think it is despicable of a person, who, not having a just cause against a particular class, tries to fan the flames of racial hatred”.

    It appears that apart from the standard fear of foreigners among the older Welsh miners, there was also the perceived threat to the closed paternalistic communities in the area. The deacons of the Nonconformist chapels were appalled by people who were Catholics, lapsed Catholics, or even worse militant atheists. They remarked on the smell of garlic, on the love of life among the Spanish community, their drinking, their singing and dancing to accordions on Saturday and Sunday nights. However the Spanish workers gained support among the younger workers who welcomed these happenings.

    Friendships had developed between the Spanish and some of these young workers. We have already seen that many Spanish became fluent Welsh speakers and this was reciprocated among some of the young workers who were able to conduct conversations in Spanish. There was particular support among workers who were fairly recent arrivals themselves as for example the Irish born father of Dick Beamish, a local socialist activist.

    Have you got this far Stuart? or have you gone to sleep?
    Love Maria

  26. Maria,
    you make the classic mistake that all political nutjobs make in thinking that those who oppose their undoubted twisted and bigoted viewpoints must be their political opposites.

    A really stupid Japanese American neo-con wrote a book called ‘The End Of History’ – hilarious example of someone with serious mental health problems – history ends when the last biped dies. Did he just appear out of the ether – of course not he is the result of history – literally he is history walking.

    Being in denial as 99% of the Spanish are – it was the Christian savages who cut down all the Spanish forests (olive trees don’t count) which is why all over Spain you can see land denuded of soil. To deny that the Christians destroyed all the Semitic universities which were created over 600 years before the pale imitations appeared in northern Europe is really stupid.

    Are you Unreality in drag. Writing all this garbage does’nt advance your twisted rightwing xenophobic agenda one iota but do continue – your good for a laugh.

  27. Maria, that was a good bit of cut and paste from “http://libcom.org/history/spanish-anarchists-welsh-valleys”

    Remember, Google is the plagiarists ultimate enemy lol.

  28. Dear Fred

    Friends? Fred are you seriously interested?
    The two “resident commies” on this page are fast becoming the “resident comics” who can not be taken seriously.

    Stop posting “lol” and our friendship would have a better chance of blossoming!

    Love Maria

  29. Fred

    You are at it again, displaying your inbred pedantic nature.

    It is quite clear to anyone who bothered to read my post that the “historical inclusion” was not written by me … particularly as this blog’s other pedant (also well versed in the science of semantics) Stuart Crawfor had suggested that “The Welsh” by John Davies was a good read.

    Your attention span and concentration abilities appear to be severely compromised by your ingrained triviality and any more childish remarks will be ignored by me.

    Try growing-up, but keep smiling. All the best Maria

  30. There’s no evidence the Tory activists in question supported UKIP, Maria. Why would they be Tory activists if they did?

    Apologise for what? For tripping you up when you spouted a load of tosh which was demonstrably untrue? And what makes you think I’m a gentleman? Or even a man for that matter… If anyone should be apologising, it should be you to Stefanjo.

  31. “It is quite clear to anyone who bothered to read my post that the ‘historical inclusion’ was not written by me”

    I do hope you realise that you’re now entering the zero credibility zone. To post a blog entry that is passed of as your own is a very poor show. At least Stuart actually thinks up his own responses.

    I think you’ve been rattled. You just keep making mistakes, Maria. lol.

  32. I notice that ‘Maria Jones’ seems to have completly failed to acknowledge or interact with the points posted by “J. A. Roberts” in the posted timed at 11:06AM on MAY 22ND, 2013.

    The points about:
    – Calling Gibraltar ‘Offshore’, depsite being EU and compliant with all requirments.
    – Treaty of Utrecht being irrelvant since Spain ratified the UN Charter
    – The lies about Gibraltar relying upon “total secrecy”.

    The ridiculous nonsense posted about Spain not requesting data from Gibraltar because they think it will be lies.
    How come it is accepted by everyone else?
    This is political persecution of Gibraltar by Spain, nothing more. When Spain is finally, in a future more just world, forced to compensate Gibraltar the Spanish exchequer will be paying user billions.

    – Your nonsense about “Returning Gibraltar to some sort of legality”? What exactly is illegal about Gibraltar? Care to explain? The answer is nothing. It is all brain washing by the Spanish central government. It should have died with Franco, but they needed a national rallying cry to hold their fragmented country together. So they didn’t drop it, despite the legal reality.

  33. Dear Mr Divas

    That Britain continually flouted its obligations to Spain under the Treaty of Utrecht may be irrelevant to you but not to those that value the laws of contract …

    And under the “Exchange of Information Agreement” between Britain and Spain regarding bank accounts held in Gibraltar by non residents the Gibraltar “authorities” (joke) are not obliged to divulge any information unless Spain (or any other country) can supply sufficient evidence indicating criminal activity. In this Catch 22 situation the country could mount its own investigation/prosecution, Thus Spain suffers whilst Gibraltar “prospers”.

    Finally I note that your default to the usual “leftie” ploy of involving General Franco as a means of adding some credibility to a flawed argument.

    May I respectfully suggest that Spain is a far more responsible and law abiding country than the crime infested Gibraltar.

    Love Maria xxx

    Viva Espana!

  34. wow – my only contribution here is i think its funny that in gib they welcome tax avoiders as this is not their problem and will solely concentrate on tax evasion! enough said really, maria has been spot on in terms of the shady activities carried out in Gib. The sooner they shut down all off shore tax jurisdictions the better this world will be. Too many criminals have benefited from this global loophole. And the only people who benefit are criminals themselves – and dressing yourself in professional titles such as the lawyers and accountants who service this sector, does not detract from the fact that you are as bad as the criminals you hide. I know of one lawyer in Gib whose creations of companies in order for ‘his client’ to avoid paying taxes cost his partner his life and many innocent people theirs when they did not have enough food to eat! This is why this practise should stop.

  35. Once again Maria, or is it Naria, makes things up as she goes along.

    The Exchange of Information Agreement does not cover Gibraltar, because Gibraltar is not and has never been part of the UK. It was made between France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Anyway, under the EU’s Mutual Assistance directive, which is accepted by the OECD as equivalent to a TIEA, Spain has the right to request information from the Gibraltar authorities without the need to show evidence of criminal activity. The Gibraltar authorities have repeatedly offered to sign a TIEA directly with Spain, and every TIEA signed between Gibraltar and other jurisdictions does not require evidence of criminal activity to request information. I can’t see why Spain would be an exception. Your confused assertion above, that it would boil down to some kind of catch 22 situation, is, like all of your assertions, a load of unjustified nonsense.

    It is on public record that Spain will not deal directly with the Gibraltarian authorities because that would imply recognition of Gibraltar as a separate jurisdiction, which Spain is desperate not to do. We all know that is the reason why Spain will not deal directly with Gibraltar or sign a TIEA with Gibraltar. Over 20 other jurisdictions don’t seem to have that problem – and very tellingly, Spain has signed only 4, yes FOUR, TIEAs with other jurisdictions.

    @valdimir nabokov
    Care to explain how Gibraltar could be an offshore jurisdiction when it is part of the EU and subject to EU laws and standards? If you are correct then every member state of the EU is an “offshore” jurisdiction…

  36. Gibraltar is a centre for various illegal shenanigans, not least tax evasion: usually conducted via nefarious companies – Gibraltar has over 30,000 companies “registered” inside its “jurisdiction” many of them shell companies with no known beneficial owners and no apparent business activity.

    Many ex-pats (from various countries) use Gibraltar based banks/financial services to shelter/hide their undeclared “assets” – a criminal offence in Spain which can carry a custodial sentence.

    Although Spain has now introduced Module 720 requiring ALL Spanish residents to declare world wide assets with a value greater than 50,000 euros it is unlikely that Gibraltar “authorities” will co-operate with the Spanish Hacienda and disclose the ownership of the billions of euros tucked-away on this highly secretive off-shore tax haven.

    Liars and thieves (and those defending them)who deprive other countries from receiving their legitimate tax revenue should be severely dealt with – but don’t expect any co-operation from the Gibraltar as accommodating tax evaders is one of the mainstays of their economy.

    Reporting those who evade tax to the Spanish Hacienda is a public duty – regrettably places like Gibraltar make it difficult to follow-up these reports. Hopefully Module 720 will prove to be the first step towards apprehending these criminals – and the minimum fine of 10,000 euros should provide some encouragement for people to start behaving lawfully ….


  37. Once again sweeping assertions from Naria or is it Maria which are demonstrably untrue and incorrect.

    Keep trotting out the sad old twisted Franco/Castiella/PP lies about Gibraltar Maria/Naria. As they say, una mona vestida de seda, mona se queda. Europe doesn’t want fascists!

    Anyone who cares to look into this in any depth knows that most of what you write above is an unjustified pack of lies. You don’t even bother back up your assertions.

    Next time someone in Spain asks me “con IVA o sin IVA”, I’ll think of you…

  38. Dear Mr Roberts

    Gibraltar, and similar secrecy jurisdictions/offshore tax havens, make a rich living in assisting in the criminal offence of tax evasion for both corporate entities and private individuals. Take Equity Release Schemes as an example to back-up this “assertion”…

    For several years companies based in poorly regulated and highly secretive tax dodging jurisdictions (such as Gibraltar) have hawked “Equity Release Schemes” to unsuspecting and often elderly British expats. These schemes are intended to help in “avoiding” Spanish inheritance tax – but in fact are highly illegal tax “evasion” schemes prohibited in Spain.
    Now thousands of British expats are in danger of losing their homes as the capital asset values plummet and the promised “income” from the “equity released” suffers from poor investment performance in incompetent “schemes” (with massive management charges) which again are invariably based in one of these con artist tax havens. Thankfully at least one of these tricksters is now facing charges in the criminal courts.

    But this is only a small example of the many secretive, convoluted tax dodging schemes which are operated from places like Gibraltar – scheme which are designed by super-sharp forensic accountants and unscrupulous bankers and which are, in most cases, impenetrable….

    As for your disdainful remarks about evading IVA taxation.
    I would remind you that this is also a serious criminal offence – as in any attempt to encourage others to participate in this crime. Please don’t judge others by your own apparent lack of ethics and morality.

    I would recommend that you read “Treasure Islands” by Nicholas Shaxon. This book will provides ample evidence that Gibraltar, in league with other offshore tax havens involved in the complex web of tax evasion, is a highly secretive jurisdiction and an integral part of a multifaceted, worldwide, illegal, tax scamming industry.

    Finally may I respectfully ask? Why do pinko. commie, Guardian reading, handbag swingers always resort to labelling those who do not agree with their perverted views as “fascists”?

    Regards. Maria

  39. Once again Naria/Maria

    1. How can Gibraltar be a “secrecy jurisdiction” when it is part of the EU and subject to EU laws?
    2. How can Gibraltar be offshore when it is part of the EU and not a separate jurisdiction?
    3. Name any Gibraltar registered company which sells any financial product which is allows the evasion of Spanish tax or which is illegal in Spain. Please provide specific examples of the products in question, not just generic names.
    4. Please provide more details of the trickster now facing charges in a criminal court. Which court, what charges?
    5. Can you give even a single specific example of a “convoluted tax dodging scheme” operated out of Gibraltar? And can you explain exactly how the “scheme” allows tax to be evaded.

    Oh, so I must not judge others by my own lack of ethics and morality? I always ask for a factura and always pay with IVA included. However even my gestor here in Spain asks me if I want to pay “con IVA o sin IVA”. What you don’t seem to perceive is that corruption and tax EVASION is a way of life in Spain, and it’s not just the plumbers taking cash-in-hand. It happens at every level, all the way to the top. All the more ironic when you make unsubstantiated allegations about corruption and tax evasion in Gibraltar which until now you have not backed up with any facts.

    Since you ask so respectfully, as you only seem able to trot out the same old fabrications that Franco and his side-kick Castiella used to trot out about Gibraltar this would place you very squarely in the facha camp.

  40. Once again Mr Roberts –

    FACT: There are more than 30,000 “companies” registered on Gibraltar many of them an integral part of a complex web of shell subsidiaries and blind trusts (with no known beneficial owners) secretly/illegally engaged in disguising/concealing undeclared assets for those with sufficient “capital” to afford these” confidential services”.

    FACT: The Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas is aware that many Spanish tax residents are party to a tax fraud, a crime which costs Spain many hundreds of millions of euros a year. and a reason why the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristobal Montoro, has created a special investigative unit to focus specifically on Spanish tax evasion based in Gibraltar.

    FACT: Tax evasion is a criminal offence and as you have certain knowledge that your gestor is engaged in criminal activity and to avoid facing charges of conspiring in crime, you are now bound by law to report him/them to the Hacienda without delay.

    FACT: El Caudillo, Generalísimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde died almost forty years ago yet you appear to hold him responsible for making tax EVASION “a way of life in Spain May I suggest that it is your corrupt friends in the quasi-communist, incompetent PSOE who are largely to blame and that the right-wing PP are now making a determined effort to bring these criminals to justice and save the Spanish economy.

    FACT: When criminal proceedings are underway they become sub judice and the publication of material relating to such proceedings comprises contempt of court, a crime which is punishable by a fine of unlimited amount and/or imprisonment for up to two years. Third party costs orders may also be awarded against the media organization, enabling the courts to recover the costs of any trial aborted as a result of the prejudicial reportin.

    Finally: Perhaps you should reconsider your laiser faire attitude towards tax regulations and begin to understand exactly why, if counties like Spain are to stand any chance of achieving economic recovery, places like Gibraltar should now be required to comply with the law.

  41. Naria,

    What about those envelopes full of EU money (funded by the UK) being funnelled directly into the pockets of Spanish ministers including the PM himself?

    The last thing EU and OECD compliant Gibraltar needs is pontification from a random pseudo economist/diplomat like you. You have yet to provide a single shred of evidence to back up your fascist PP rhetoric.

    Gibraltar is not a tax haven. We have low taxes because we can afford and remain well within all EU, IMF and OECD recommendations and directives. It doesnt take a genius to research and work that out.

  42. @Naria/Maria

    So there are 30,000 companies registered in Gibraltar? That’s the number the Spanish press bandy about, although ABC makes it 80,000. I’m not sure how you think it is a fact though? Do you have any way of backing that number up? I doubt it. For a small sum you can access the Gibraltar register and see for yourself. Let us know how many companies there are and how many of them are active…

    It is impossible to register a company or trust in Gibraltar which has “no known beneficial owner”. Try this, and let us know if you succeed!

    You obviously don’t understand what a blind trust is. It simply means a trust where the beneficiary has no knowledge of what assets are held in trust on their behalf. The trustees are still obliged to declare these assets and any income they generate to the tax office and the beneficiaries are also obliged to declare any income or asset distributions they receive from the trust. I fail to see how that could be a tax dodge.

    Why has Hacienda set up a special working group for Gibraltar? What difference will it make if Hacienda is not allowed to request information directly from Gibraltar anyway? It won’t make a blind bit of difference… This special group is nothing more than a cynical political move, so that Montoro is seen to be doing something. Spain already has all the necessary tools at its disposal to request information about the funds and assets held in Gibrlatar by Spanish residents, but the only problem is that Spain would have to deal directly with the Gibraltarian authorities and Spain doesn’t want to do that. More than twenty other jurisdictions don’t have this problem…

    I don’t see where I linked endemic tax evasion in Spain with Franco? I’m pretty certain it was around long before he was. If I was to report every person who offered to take my payment “con o sin IVA”, I’d have little time to do anything else! And I really don’t understand why you think the PP is any cleaner than PSOE? Barcenas, Gürtel, Fabra… They are as bad as each other and what is common to both is the corruption, which is endemic in Spain, and reaches from top to bottom and back again.

    You really are making things up about not being able to give details about a court case. It is perfectly legal to report that a case is happening, in which court, who the accused is and what they are being charged with. Unless of course it was a secret trial (and you wouldn’t know about it anyway)…

    I don’t have a laissez-faire towards tax regulation. I believe everyone should contribute what they are legally obliged to and not a cent more, I believe politicians should then spend that money responsibly and not wastefully. If Spain is ever to recover then the Spanish need to start paying ALL their taxes and the Spanish politicians need to start managing Spain properly. Gibraltar is not the cause of Spain’s problems. Spain is the cause of Spain’s problems.

    Gibraltar complies with the law.

  43. It is a curious phenomenon that whenever left-wing/liberal, nancy-pancy, pseudo-ocommies find they are either losing an argument, or encounter anyone who disagrees with their jaundiced views they resort to labelling people as “fascists”.

    Were life that simple ….

  44. Back up your assertions Maria/Naria. If you did that instead of trotting out the tired old Franco line on Gibraltar then people might not associate you with him so much…

  45. @ Naria Jones

    You have obviously completely run out of propaganda to spout. I expected at least some artificial psuedo statistics, the old defamatory Gibraltar `tax haven` one liner and a pinch of ye old medieval sovereignty fantasy.

    Seems your acute `Gibraltitis` sydrome is on the mend.

    Welcome back to reality.


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