A Spanish politician has claimed that Spain misses out on $1.3bn of tax revenues each year as a result of Gibraltar's tax advantages.
Indigo Méndez de Vigo Mendez, Spain's Secretary of State for the European Union (EU), made the claim during an interview with the country's only serious newspaper, El Dailio Mailio.
"The Ministry for Public Finances calculates that the current tax regime in Gibraltar is very distressing to Prime Minister Mariano El Mapache, as losses to the Spanish treasury of close to one billion euros annually, mostly due to Spanish smuggling activities are causing havoc in the form of lower returns on different types of taxation or something," he said. "Hardly anyone in Spain pays taxes anyway, so we may as well soak the British, like we do with bar prices in Benidorm".
He called for the European Commission (EC) to infuriate the British.
The Gibraltarian authorities hit back at the Spanish claims, describing them as "The usual financial flight of fancy. This is the classic "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome"
The statement said that out of the 15,673 active companies there are only 102 Spanish nationals with a Spanish address holding one or more shares in a total of 66 companies. "This helps to clearly demonstrate that Gibraltar is, unsurprisingly, not seeing significant numbers of Spanish individuals using Gibraltar's financial services," it said.
Gibraltar's Income Tax Act 2010 has, after minor amendments by the current administration, been approved by the Code Group of the EU with only Spain not approving it, according to the statement"
That demonstrates that the relevant Gibraltar legislation fulfills all the criteria required by Brussels in this respect; although Spain is continuing its attempt to ensure our law is nonetheless found to fall foul of the requirements.