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Gibraltar Defends Its Integrity In Spain

by Jason Gorringe,, London

06 November 2012

Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo sought to emphasize that Gibraltar is a well regulated and cooperative European finance centre and not a tax haven, during a recent question and answer session hosted by Canal Sur, the public broadcasting company of the neighbouring Spanish territory Andalusia.

Picardo underscored that the "Gibraltar finance centre is [compliant with] all legal EU regulations", and has signed agreements with a total of 29 states to exchange tax information on request in line with internationally-agreed standards, placing it at the forefront of tax transparency efforts. He underscored that the territory is still eager to revisit negotiations towards an agreement containing tax information exchange provisions with Spain to demonstrate its cooperative spirit.

The signing of a tax information exchange agreement was under negotiation as part of trilateral talks, attended by the United Kingdom, Gibraltar and the previous Spanish government. This trilateral forum, which had significantly thawed historically fractious relations between Gibraltar and Spain, was abandoned when the current People's Party government took office. Since then Spanish authorities have sought to discuss issues concerning Gibraltar through the UK government in a bid to undermine the territory's autonomy.

Picardo highlighted that Gibraltar's tax regime can not be said to be predatory among European Union nations, highlighting that the regimes in place in Malta, Cyprus and Hungary could be said to be equally attractive. Nevertheless, Gibraltar has been singled out for criticism by Spain, and has been the subject of continued harassment from across the border, Picardo said.

TAGS: tax | investment | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | Gibraltar | law | international financial centres (IFC) | United Kingdom | offshore | agreements | Spain | standards | regulation

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