21 Sep, 2013 @ 16:02
1 min read

Spanish taxman investigates Gibraltar’s chief minister

GIBRALTAR’S chief minister has been targeted by the Spanish taxman in the latest attempt to deflect attention away from the PP corruption scandal.

Fabian Picardo and various other members of Gibraltar’s government are being investigated to ensure they are complying with Spanish tax regulations.

Picardo owns two properties on the Costa del Sol, one in Sotogrande and another near Benahavis.

Many Gibraltarians have houses or apartments on the Costa del Sol, parts of which are within a 15 minute drive of the border.

The properties are often owned by Gibraltarian companies and classified as second residences and as a result the owners pay very little tax.

In a front page article entitled ‘Hacienda investigates Picardo’s fortune’ Spanish right wing paper ABC highlighted the two properties that Picardo owns. Picardo frequently rents the property out.

Both properties are in Picardo’s name, while the Sotogrande villa is also in the name of his wife, which means that it totally complies with Spanish law.

The Benahavis property is frequently rented out, while Picardo took out a mortgage on the Sotogrande property after buying it in 2006.

ABC calculates that Picardo has invested a total of €1.4 million through the purchase of both properties.

Hacienda has stated that the probe is part of an investigation into financial irregularities in Gibraltar.

A source close to Picardo told the Olive Press that he would not be making a statement.

“He bought these properties when he was a lawyer well before he went into politics.

“He has done absolutely nothing wrong so why should he make a statement?”

Karl Smallman

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  1. More distraction politics from the Spanish government. How better to hide economic failure and the whiff of political corruption by playing the Gibraltar card – again.

    Interesting to note that Gibraltar complies with ALL EU directions on financial services and transparency and has signed tax information agreements with 26 countries and is listed on the OECD’s ‘white list’.

  2. He’s doing nothing wrong. The spaniards will try anything to attempt to show there’s corruption in Gib, without realising their own govt are liers, cheats, villains and corrupt. When will these people wake up and kick these awful “polititions” out of parliament. Disgusting country.

  3. How absolutely hilarious!

    The Gibraltarain Cheif Minister being investigated for tax evasion and pushed to give a statement… Where are Rajoy’s statements? Not only for the bribe money that he has accepted or the 7,000 Spanish workers he has put in the firing line as a sacrifice for his smoke screen, but also on driving the Spanish economy into the ground? Or perhaps at least he should enlighten the world on how he still remains in power? (A feat I thought impossible in a democratic and civilized world).

    The Spanish propaganda machine may be one of the most blatant forms of control in Europe. Kim Jong Il would be proud

  4. A strong stance by a right wing party was expected in Gibraltar. What was not expected was such vitriolic attacks by the PP and the Spanish press on all things Gibraltarian.
    According to them, everybody on the Rock is a drug/tobacco smuggler, a money launderer, a tax evader, a destroyer of nature etc.
    This to me is xenophobia on a national scale similar to the campaign run by Hitler against the Jews.
    Isn’t there an international forum where they could be taken to task?

  5. El fifi

    I recommend you see a documentary called “Varsaw Ghetto: The unfinished film”” which impressed me deply. Then, please, tell me what similiudes are in between the Warsaw Getto and Gibraltar.

  6. Anselmo,
    Hitler’s propaganda machine started their hate campaign against the Jews well before the Second World War.
    Spain’s current campaign against the Gibraltarians definitely has similarities.
    As a Gibraltarian I just cannot believe the constant barrage of blatant lies and half truths that are directed against anybody and everybody who lives and works in Gibraltar by government officials and newspapers such as the ABC. According to them, Gibraltar survives on illegal activities and it is a cancer that is eating away all that is honest in the hinterland.
    This is the picture it’s trying to paint and it only creates hatred among those who do not know any difference, especially among those Spaniards who live far from the Rock.
    Exactly the same as Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s economic woes in the 1930’s.
    So much so, that the only Gibraltarians who are venturing into Spain are the ones who need to as most are staying in Gibraltar for fear of retributions.
    Logic dictates that if Gibraltar was indeed engaged in such illicit activities, the international community would have stepped in years ago to stop it.
    The harmony that has existed between Gibraltar and the nearby region since the frontier reopened has been destroyed in a few months by the PP propaganda machine. Yes, exactly the same as Hitler did with the Jews!!!

  7. El Fifi

    I regret a lot that you’re having some sort of hostile environment when you walk away from Gibraltar. This worries me because in the event of an incident as fishermen hit by a patrol boat of the Royal Navy, an incident involving military aircraft or a large oil slick caused by the floating deposits of Gibraltar, it could trigger a mass phenomenon of which we discussed two weeks ago. (by the way the book was “mass psychology” and the author, I correct, is “Le Bon”)

    True, there is the conviction that the Gibraltarian economy hurts the Spanish . But I think what most influences people’s feelings is knowing that there are a hundred fishermen who are deprived of their livelihood. His appearance on television, during the latest protests organized is especially traumatic in a country plagued by unemployment and poverty.

  8. The Spanish taxman should be investigating the large number of crooks who shelter behind the name ‘politician’ throughout Spain. But then the taxman is never given their names and probably needs investigating himself!
    The Rajoy gang are making a very good job of destroying any remaining international confidence in Spain as a democratic country worthy of investment.
    Any next bailout by the EU should be after an EU Commission has been set up to investigate corruption, with the power to sack and replace these crooks found in office.

  9. Anselmo
    ONE Spanish fishing boat called La Divina Providencia used to trawl in the area where the artificial reef has been created using illegal methods (raking). You couldn’t fit many more if you’d checked out the area involved.
    In El Ferrol, Spain, the Spanish government has authorised the same type of bunkering carried out in Gibraltar waters (which by the way, complies with international regulations.}
    There you are, just two examples of the propaganda you are subjected to and which most Spaniards are fooled into believing.

  10. Anselmo
    I believe elsewhere in the correspondence regarding Spanish fishermen, it has been explained that the reef being constructed, since 1973, is there to enhance the breeding of fish, to help fishermen, Spanish and Gibraltarian, to increase their catch offshore. Fish don’t breed on sand! Can you not understand the criminality of your cherished leaders in creating this problem? It is all fiction!
    Any clash is also much more likely to be caused by Spanish coastguards or military, and any oil slick, something made up by Spanish politicians to hide their criminal activities.
    Get rid of your politicians, both main parties, and try not to admire Spaniards with pots of money! It is blinding you all to reality.

  11. Anselmo,
    1.Gibraltar is a forward operating base. This means that you will only find military traffic only if and when needed. I would be more worried living in Cadiz next to the huge US base where the Americans’ policy is not to divulge the munitions its ships carry not even to the host nation, Spain.
    2. How can you say Gibraltar hurts the Spanish economy when Gibraltar is the biggest employer of Spaniards (around 7,000)in the area.
    3.Gibraltar can afford to set its own taxes e.g. £2.20 per cigarette packet, £1.12 per litre of petrol.
    Who do you think tries to smuggle these goods across the frontier? The Gibraltarians? Next time take a look at the Spanish number plates of the confiscated cars impounded by the GC at the frontier.
    4. The huge refinery which supplies fuel for bunkering in Gibraltar and Algeciras is in Spain next to a highly populated area. I wonder what would happen if that went up?
    If you want I can provide further information, not misinformation, on any topic related to the current PP propaganda onslaught against those trying to make an honest living in one of the most flourishing economies in Europe.

  12. antonio2

    fishermen do not share your opinion about the concrete blocks. I do not think that’s because they are intoxicated by the Spanish government propaganda.

    Thanks for the advice you give me, I consider very valuable. I agree with you

  13. For centuries, Gibraltar has provided a safe haven for ships of all nationalities. Because it lies next to one of the busiest sea crossroads in the world, it has been a bunkering base for hundreds of years and will probably remain so for hundreds of years to come as sea trade increases.
    Ideally, there shouldn’t be a refinery in the bay and there shouldn’t be any bunkering. There should be a shoreline from Tarifa to Europa Point lined with hotels and marinas. But that is Utopia as we all rely on international commerce and Gibraltar cannot help where it lies.
    Oil slicks worry all those living in the area but realistically all that can be done is make bunkering as safe as possible but you will never eradicate it as it is a necessary evil if sea trade is to continue.

  14. Glad to see that the Spanish governemnt is at last taking action against the huge number of Gibraltarians who cheat its tax system whilst its people suffer from the financial crisis created in shady places like Gib. I work in Gib and am amazed at how openly most discuss and brag about how they pay nothing.

  15. As to why you can compare what Spain is inciting to the Goebbels propaganda machine against the jews, the gypsies, the gays etc….

    again Anselmo, read the following in your language –


    For non Spanish readers – Gibraltarian cars being burnt, windows smashed, tires slashed, swastikas painted at Gibraltarian jewish second homes in Spain etc.

    And the latest:


    Gibraltarians homes in Spain being broken into and “occupied” by Spaniards with their legal owners unable to access their homes.

    Does it not ring a bell in your subconscious Anselmo?

  16. @ Mr Tea

    I didn’t know the Spanish government frequented bars in Gibraltar, let alone brag about how they pay nothing whilst the Spanish people suffer. Irony out of the way the Spanish people are suffering because of the actions of Spaniards, Madre Mia you people still want to blame others for your problems. Grow up and take responsibility for yourselves, you’ve been taking money from the EU for over thirty years now when are you going to put your house in order and start paying your way.

  17. Mr Tea
    1. Why do you work in “shady” Gib? Surely that makes you a participant in a “shady” system. How come you haven’t got a job in Spain? You must be in dire straits if you are working in a place that you don’t like. I really feel for you.
    2. I live and work in Gibraltar and I am currently paying 33 per cent tax on my earnings. I’d like you to advice me on how I could pay less.
    3. Your English is sound but your comment lacks logic. Do you mean to tell me that you believe Spain’s financial crisis is due to Gibraltar?

  18. Anselmo,
    Let us start by reading this, in Spanish, your language.
    Basically its the Spanish minister recommending the use of the same said “concrete blocks” to regenerate fishing.
    Then lets go back to why should Spain recommend the use of the same said concrete blocks for their shores, but not for ours.
    Easy Peasy – POLITICS
    The Spanish fishermen, in this case 125 reefs all over the Andalucía shoreline, and I can guarantee you that it has affected more than just the one boat that fishes in the area where Gibraltar has lain its reef, had absolutely no say in the matter.

  19. Anselmo

    Now let us talk about what worries you the most it seems, the oil slicks and the contamination. I hope you do not mind that all refer to what happens on the “other” side of the Bay of Gibraltar and not in the British Gibraltar Territorial waters.

    There is a “mono” valve very near Gibraltar which belongs to the Refinery situated on Spanish soil.

    This mono buoy valve, which is in the middle of the sea and from which there is a pipe which leads to the Refinery is used by CRUDE OIL tankers that arrive in the Bay to deliver their content to the said refinery.

    When the Docking spaces receiving the oil are occupied and busy, these ships, instead of waiting their turn to occupy one of the docks there, hook on to this valve, Day and Night, and they spend a day or two transferring this oil by means, like I said of an under water pipe that leads to the refinery. No mention of this “valve” is every made in the Spanish press, nor the dangers that it represents. Neither is the bunkering done by Algeciras itself near the Palmones river area.


    The contamination of the refinery hardly ever gets a mention and when it does, it is quickly snuffed out yet we are subjected to noxious fumes coming from their chimneys day and night.

    Nickel contamination in the Bay of Gibraltar is another cause for concern. Have any of you heard about it in recent years? There are no paper factories nor Stainless steel production plants in Gibraltar.


    Spain’s Seabed prospecting for gas is hardly heard about any more, and what this would bring to the Costa, would constitute more than one headache.

    More contaminants if needed in and around the Bay of Gibraltar and more land fill. Heard any demonstrations about this, any accusations, any threats, any queues? No? Ain’t Gib who is doing it.


    And about our dear Spanish fishermen.

    Last year the “lonjas” (the place where the fishermen take the fish to sell wholesale) in the area commercialized 38 million kilos of fish, which represented in the pocket, which is where it matters to them mostly , 124 MILLION euros. The La Linea Lonja pocketed 1,4 million euros
    1.257.805 kilos of fish.

    Anybody wishing to double check the figures can do so here.


    And this is after the Junta de Andalucía restricted their fishing hours and hardly a beep from the poor fishermen whose livelihoods have been threatened by one sole miserly reef, no threats of surrounding Gibraltar with their fishing boats or anything.

    Here you are; sorry about all the links and that most are in Spanish but cant be helped if one needs to prove its not a personal invention of mine , and as always my most sincere thanks to The Olive Press for their patience with me.


    Could go on and on and on. But I think the point has been made about how Gibraltar is certainly not the offender in this story and how everything is geared as a huge smokescreen for all the rest.

  20. el fifi

    I probably would not have expressed so well,excuse me, I mentioned the oil spill as an example of incidents that may exasperate Spanish public opinion against the Gibraltarians. Because you made comments on some unfriendly attitude of some Spanish away from Gibraltar, It worries me.

  21. Inthername

    Thank you very much for the links that you sent me. On the issue of floating buoys, is something I did not knew. And it’s true is a potential risk of oil leaks at all refineries where this device exists.
    With respect to acts of vandalism, are deplorable, but you can not blame the government for them, it is vandalism. I do not think that the Spanish government has embarked on a propagandistic campaign against Gibraltar , I think, as I said to Fifi ,that it is a phenomenon of mass psychology, because of the severe crisis that we are experiencing.
    Regarding housing occupations, is a phenomenon that occurs sporadically in all Spain for years, and whose solution should be complicated.
    Precisely, I’m reading a book about Gypsies, entitled “Queen barefoot” by Ildefonso Falcones, which recounts an attempted genocide committed against Gypsies in Spain in 1760.
    As for the fishermen, the fact is that they are not happy with the concrete blocks. And personally for me, was particularly irritating to hear them complaining about it in television. Think that poverty is spreading across my country, and if it is hard to see the amount of people who are sleeping on the street for the impersonal and inconcrete reasons of malfunction of the economy, the fact of to see the fishermen deprived of their means of livelihood for a specific action taken by a particular person, it is disturbing for many people.

  22. Anselmo
    “”the fact of to see the fishermen deprived of their means of livelihood for a specific action taken by a particular person, it is disturbing for many people””

    I agree, Anselmo, it would be very disturbing and wrong of the person/s responsible, if it was true.
    But one small reef with a few concrete blocks, designed to increase fish stocks by providing a breeding ground, will not put even one fisherman out of work. In years to come it will provide greater numbers of adult fish and the fishermen will be happy.
    Perhaps what is needed is two or three knowledgeable, unbiased, people, from Gibraltar and Spain, to investigate and come to a unanimous conclusion based on real facts, which everyone would have to accept, Gibraltarians and fishermen.
    That would end all this nonsense, but would the Spanish newspapers accept it? There is a dangerous build-up of anti-Gibraltarian propaganda, fuelled by these newspapers, making a lot of money out of the publicity. No doubt some newspapers in the UK also.
    But it is good to discuss these issues with Spanish people, thanks to the Olive Press.

  23. Anselmo, It’s good to see your concern for a couple of fisherman, but what about the thousands of your countrymen who are daily harassed by your border ‘police’, under orders given by your government?
    Fishermen are the same throughout the world; very few understand the ‘conservation and breeding’ concept. Some may understand but prefer to ignore it if their‘livelihood’ is threatened.
    In the UK there were enormous problems as fishing fleets were reduced and fishermen lost their income, boats scrapped, etc. But that’s life – it applies to all of us, supply and demand affects every working person, if there’s no supply, or no demand, you lose your job.
    The lone fishing boat affected by the concrete blocks is right, it may affect his fishing. But he is also wrong because the blocks are there to help fish stocks in the future.
    Worse may be in store for Spanish and some European fishermen as subsidies may be drastically reduced. Right now the UK, France, Germany, etc., give Spain, via the EU, a huge amount of money for their fishing fleet, which is the largest in the EU.
    The row over a few concrete blocks is an unbelievable victory for Rajoy and his gang. He has managed to raise an anti-British sentiment which is spreading, much to his excitement, as his own devious dealings are overshadowed and forgotten.
    One effect will be to reduce the number of Brits wanting to move to Spain, but replaced by Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, etc., which I’m sure will be welcome.

  24. @Anselmo

    Why are you so obsessed with the artificial reef in Gibraltarian waters? There are more than 100 of them in Spanish waters, with at least 25 in Andaluz waters – one of which is off La Linea. You don’t seem to bectoo worried about all of those? And they are 70% funded by the Common Fisheries Fund, ie to a great degree by British tax payers.

    Why are you not complaining about the reefs in Spanish waters? Some of them are enormous. There is one which goes all the way from the mouth of the Guadalquivir almost to Matalascañas. Don’t you care about the poor fishermen of Bonanza who cannot fish there any more?

  25. The conflict between GIBRALTAR and SPAIN will carry on for years and years.It reminds me of the conflict between Israel and Palestine which I was aware of since I was a child. The only reason I can think of is that both conflicts have something in common. It is certainly the fact that they are neighbours. Neihbours; they always have something to quarrel about. If it is not something it is another,like life itself, is one problem after another.
    The worst thing that comes out of these conhlicts is that the politicians fight against each others but only the ordinary people who get victimized and suffer a geat deal.
    My message to these politicians is to try to grow up and think of their own people who voted for them the same as they think of their children and to stop missing about with peopl·s lives. The high standard of life these politicians live may make them unaware of the agony that the most of ordinary people go through.
    I decided to submit my comment about the subject because I lived for quiet a while in both countries as an Immigrant, In GIBRALTAR and SPAIN.Everywhere I go I meet ordinary people and enjoy associating with them. The funny thing is that I have never met any politician. They say if you want to meet one, you have to become one.
    So as not to get out of te subject, my main point is adressed to the politicians to do their best for the ordinary people to create peace and harmony instead of ware and hatred.

  26. Antonio 2

    There are a hundred of fisermen afected. They have the right of to live.

    They have fished there during generations, so they can´t depleted the fish reserves.

  27. Iestyn

    The reefs, when they are installed according with ecological estudies, are good for the fishing. If Picardo throw blocks of concrete and close a fishing point, its a ecological crime, and an act of cruellyty against the fishermen.

    If Picardo refills the Gibraltar surrounding waters, its a ecological crime.

  28. @Anselmo

    The blocks Gibraltar used are almost exactly the same as those used to construct artificial reefs in Spain, and they were placed there after thorough environmental studies, going back decades. No crime has been committed.

    There are not 100 fishermen affected, that is a complete fabrication. Only one boat regularly fishes where the artificial reef is, the Divina Providencia.

    To suggest that building artificial reefs in Grabraltarian waters is a crime and cruelty towards fishermen, while exactly the same thing in Spanish waters is not just demonstrates how thoroughly brainwashed you are.

  29. Anselmo.
    Your consideration for your fellow-countrymen-fishermen is very commendable, but you do not have the true facts. These facts have been stated in a number of comments, the latest by Iestyn.
    Common sense should tell you, anyway, that there are not enough fish in the sea between Barbate and Estepona to sustain 100 fishing boats, therefore the new reef would make absolutely no difference to them.
    But it might affect just one boat.
    You need to select a new advisor who knows something about fishing! but meanwhile, Salud!

  30. @Anslemo Yes, the complaint is wrong on at least two levels, but mainly because it is politically motivated. So, no, it is not unmotivated, it is very much motivated, and by the wrong reasons.

  31. Iestyn

    I hope that you´ll never be in a situation similar to those fishermen.

    How You can say that they are acting by political reasons ?.

    They only want to work.

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