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Spain uses 'secret funds' in Campo area to promote Spanish claim to Gibraltar

Panorama 25th June 2001

The Spanish Government has been using 'secret funds' to promote its claim to Gibraltar in the Campo area. The funds, known in Spain as "fondos reservados", have been used to "create a favourable opinion" and thus inculcate Spanish society with the Spanish sovereignty claim , said information emanating from the Spanish congress. Another Spanish source added that the use of the 'secret funds' included paying Spanish journalists.

This sensational revelation shows to what extent the Spanish foreign ministry in Madrid sees Spanish public opinion turning away from the traditional and anachronistic Spanish claim to a territory which it lost nearly 300 years ago and has not been Spanish since. For the Spanish foreign ministry to have had recourse to slush funds to try and win over public opinion in Spain itself, clearly manifests that they see their claim losing ground.

DETAILS

Details of the funding plan were given confidentially to a parliamentary commission that deals with the work of Spain's secret intelligence service, and monitors how the funds are used. The budget given to the secret service CESLD has been increased to 1,400 million pesetas this year.

Three Spanish ministries receive "secret funds", the interior ministry, the defence ministry and the foreign affairs ministry. For example, the interior ministry uses the funds for anti-ETA activities and to infiltrate drug trafficking rings. Given the secret nature of the meeting held at which the "secret funds" was aired, it has not become known exactly what amounts have been destined to the Campo area to promote the Spanish claim to Gibraltar. But sources quoted "specific amounts" allocated for this purpose, which shows to what extent the Spanish Government is conscious of seeking to create a favourable awareness of its claim to Gibraltar.

It has not become known, so far, if some of the funds are used by Spanish agents who visit Gibraltar itself, or meet with Gibraltarians and others in the Spanish hinterland, including Sotogrande, possibly even unknown to them, to try and extract information which is relayed back to Madrid to further the Spanish claim against Gibraltar.

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