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Guardian Report Causes Controversy In Gibraltar

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

06 June 2002


A furore was created this week in Gibraltar by the publication of an article alleging irregularities with regard to the release economic statistics on the Rock.

On Monday, the UK's Guardian alleged that: 'The Gibraltar government has not published official figures covering the colony's revenue and expenditure for more than a year and basic statistics on its gross domestic product have not been published for five years.' The article continued: 'Mr Straw is understood to have approached Mr Caruana more than once to ask him to release official figures covering the colony's basic accounts.'

However, responding to the Guardian's accusations on Tuesday, the Rock's Chief Minister said that the Foreign Office appears to be 'lying' about the jurisdiction, and that letters received by the government from the UK Foreign Minister on this issue have been 'very materially inaccurate'.

The report has been widely condemned in Gibraltar, with the Gibraltarian media suggesting that their UK counterparts have now become directly embroiled in what the Iberia News service refers to as the Foreign Office's 'unrestrained propaganda machine.'

Dismissing the use of incorrect information to discredit the jurisdiction, the Chief Minister stated that: 'The Government will not be intimidated from defending Gibraltar's rights, wishes and interests in the current political situation. We will dispel any lies that anybody puts about to discredit Gibraltar and its government.'


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