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PANORAMA newsweekly, Gibraltar

9th August 1999

Spanish Govt overplay accusations against Gib, say Catalans

The Catalan alliance 'Convergencia i Unio' has said that the accusations of the Spanish Government against Gibraltar do not appear to correspond with reality.

The CiU spokesman on foreign affairs, Ignasi Guardans, put a series of questions to the Spanish Government about the accusations of money laundering, smuggling etc.

Having received the answers, and given the reduced numbers of investigations carried out by Spain over Gibraltar, the Catalan deputy asks if the reaction of the Spanish authorities in this matter coincides with the seriousness of the accusations made by the Spanish foreign ministry.

Throughout 1998, the Bank of Spain have investigated only 18 suspicious money operations concerning Gibraltar, which represents a mere 2.6% of all suspicious foreign transactions. Another 19 investigations concerned drug trafficking.

It is recalled in the Spanish media that 300 Gibraltar companies operating in Spain have been inspected over the last 5 years. Just over 10% of Gibraltar companies are involved in Spain mainly in property.

CiU is an alliance between two political parties, 'Convergencia' and 'Unio', which holds the government in Catalunya. It is headed by Jordi Pujol.

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