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Spanish Foreign Minister Writes Controversial Article

Tue 20th Aug 2013
Spanish Foreign Minister Writes Controversial Article

Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Spain's outspoken Foreign Minister, has written an article about Spain's position regarding Gibraltar.

Margallo wrote the article for the Wall Street journal's online edition, in which he states Spain complies with all its international and European obligations, but claims neither Britain or Gibraltar do.

The one sided and biased article, surprising published by the WSJ, attacks Gibraltar over it's money laundering activities, tax haven status and environmental crimes. In particular, Gibraltar's actions of dumping 70 concrete blocks into the Bay of Algeciras which Spain says, is an environmental disaster.

In his article, Margallo specifically states his concerns over smuggling from Gibraltar, which in previous comments and interviews has said it has not been appropriately controlled by the Gibraltar authorities.

According to his figures, between 2010 and 2012, seizures of contraband cigarettes rose by 213% and claimed the cause being Gibraltar is not part of the EU customs territory nor does it apply the EU system of VAT and excise duties.

Additionally, Margallo states Spain complained to the EU Commission about what it felt was illegal and incompatible state aid from Gibraltar given to offshore companies via its corporate tax regime.

Spain, in it's 5th year of economic crisis and fast approaching a 6th, is being criticised for creating a smokescreen over the Gibraltar issue, in an attempt to divert attention away from it's economic problems at home and corruption scandals surrounding the current conservative Popular Party government.

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Wall Street Journal Article: Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo

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Comment on this Story

Perhaps the FM would like to give us one example of how Spain abides by EU laws, and of how either Spain or Gibraltar do not ? A huge case of selective memory I think !
Tyler - Tue, 20th Aug 2013
OK, I've stopped laughing enough to type - Spain complies with all its international and European obligations - Yeh, right.! In view of his outburst, perhaps Margallo would make the perfect Minister of Bullshit for both Corvera and Paramount. Just imagine the mess he could make of that job. It would overshadow Monty Python for comedy..!!
David - Tue, 20th Aug 2013
Hold on, let me get this right... Spain abides by all international and European laws? WRONG! I know a few thousand expats who would disagree... Land grab law ring any bells... Spain has an EXCELLENT environmental track record - FAIL! Just look at the atrocities committed along the coastline! Spain is concerned about money laundering and tax evasion! Really? You wouldn't think with all the corruption in Spain! Spain exercising it's right to protect it's borders from smuggling... Maybe you should investigate the Guardia Civil first and the massive tobacco smuggling operation they have from Ceuta and Melilla. Different taxation to Europe... Ummm Canary Islands, Melilla, Ceuta? Margallo, are you for real?! Do as I say not as I do springs to mind along with those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!
Ed Bishop - Tue, 20th Aug 2013

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