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Gibraltar puts millions into Spanish economy: study

Gibraltar – Gibraltar pumps over GBP 600 million (EUR 675 million, USD one billion), per year into the economy of the surrounding Spanish hinterland, according to a study published in the disputed British territory.

Gibraltar businesses imported more than GBP 174 million of goods and services from Spain per year, excluding petroleum products, according to the study by Bournemouth University for the territory’s chamber of commerce.

When 1.5 million tonnes of petroleum products also imported are included, it adds almost another GBP 300 million to the impact which Gibraltar has on the Spanish region, the study, which was based on 2007 figures, added.

Spanish frontier workers earned nearly GBP 43 million per year which they spend mostly in Spain while other non-Spanish frontier workers earned nearly GBP 83 million in Gibraltar.

The study said there are 2,749 Spanish nationals who cross the border each day to work in Gibraltar and an additional 2,689 of other nationalities.

Residents of Gibraltar spent almost GBP 30 million in Spain on shopping, food and other goods while Gibraltarians with second homes in Spain spent more than GBP 33 million there.

Gibraltar has "a significant and positive impact" on the seven Spanish municipalities that surround the territory in the "Campo de Gibraltar" region, the study said.

It estimated that Gibraltar was responsible for just over 12 percent of the gross domestic product of the "Campo de Gibraltar" region.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. Britain has said it will not renounce sovereignty against the wishes of Gibraltarians.

The 6.5-square-kilometre (2.6-square-mile) territory at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea is home to roughly 30,000 people.

Now a haven for tourism, shipping and offshore banking because of its favourable tax laws, Gibraltar’s inhabitants overwhelmingly rejected an Anglo-Spanish proposal for co-sovereignty in a 2002 referendum.