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Gibraltar Chronicle, 6th March 2000

REVEALED: SPAIN'S 'TARGET GIB ECONOMY' SQUAD

by Dominique Searle

A special unit that studies Gibraltar's economy and that analyses its weaknesses has been in operation in a sector linked to the Spanish Treasury (Hacienda), according to high placed sources.

The Chronicle has learned that a unit, believed to include several dedicated economic experts, produces an analysis of the Rock's economy and may have produced the background for the economic study of the Campo area in relation to Gibraltar.

It is understood that advice from this low profile unit, which works between Madrid and Brussels, identifies the weak points and possible sanctions that could be imposed.

News of the existence of such a unit will not come as a surprise.

Spain has always stated that it holds a series of possible measures that it could impose in the 'stick' phase of its stick and carrot policy.

But Chronicle sources, which had direct contact with the unit, would appear to confirm the extent to which Madrid's Gibraltar policy is dedicated.

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