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Economy of Gibraltar

Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 7% to the local economy, compared with 60% in 1984. The financial sector, tourism (almost 5 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. The financial sector, the shipping sector, and tourism each contribute 25%-30% of GDP. Telecommunications accounts for another 10%. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment. GDP: purchasing power parity - $500 million (1997 est.) GDP - real growth rate: NA GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,500 (1997 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA industry: NA services: NA (2002 est.) Population below poverty line: NA Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA highest 10%: NA Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1998) Labor force: 14,800 (including non-Gibraltar laborers) (1999) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture negligible, industry 40%, services 60% Unemployment rate: 2% (2001 est.) Budget: revenues: $307 million expenditures: $284 million, including capital expenditures of NA (FY00/01 est.) Agriculture - products: none Industries: tourism, banking and finance, ship repairing, tobacco Industrial production growth rate: NA Electricity - production: 100 million kWh (2001) Electricity - consumption: 93 million kWh (2001) Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001) Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001) Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.) Oil - consumption: 42,000 bbl/day (2001 est.) Oil - exports: NA (2001) Oil - imports: NA (2001) Exports: $136 million f.o.b. (2002) Exports - commodities: (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods 41%, other 8% Exports - partners: Germany 25.6%, France 24.8%, UK 14.3%, Turkmenistan 9.4%, Switzerland 7.5%, Spain 5.6% (2003) Imports: $1.743 billion c.i.f. (2002) Imports - commodities: fuels, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs Imports - partners: Spain 26.5%, UK 14.8%, Russia 8.2%, Italy 6.6%, Netherlands 6.5%, France 5.3%, Germany 4.6%, Romania 4.2% (2003) Debt - external: NA (2000 est.) Economic aid - recipient: NA Currency: Gibraltar pound (GIP) Currency code: GIP Exchange rates: Gibraltar pounds per US dollar - 0.6661 (2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998); note - the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Geography of Gibraltar

Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain Geographic coordinates: 36 11 N, 5 22 W Map references: Europe Area: total: 6.5 sq km land: 6.5 sq km water: 0 sq km Area-comparative: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC Land boundaries: total: 1.2 km border countries: Spain 1.2 km Coastline: 12 km Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nm Climate: Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers Terrain: a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m highest point: Rock of Gibraltar 426 m Natural resources: NEGL Land use: arable land: NA% permanent crops: NA% permanent pastures: NA% forests and woodland: NA% other: 100% (1993 est.) Irrigated land: NA sq km Natural hazards: NA Environment-current issues: limited natural freshwater resources; large concrete or natural rock water catchments collect rain water Environment-international agreements: party to: NA signed, but not ratified: NA Geography-note: strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

Government of Gibraltar

Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Gibraltar Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK Government type: NA Capital: Gibraltar Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK) Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK) National holiday: National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or go with Spain Constitution: 30 May 1969 Legal system: English law Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal, plus other UK subjects who have been residents six months or more Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor and Commander-in-Chief Sir Francis RICHARDS (since 27 May 2003) head of government: Chief Minister Peter CARUANA (since 17 May 1996) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed from among the 15 elected members of the House of Assembly by the governor in consultation with the chief minister elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed chief minister by the governor Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (18 seats - 15 elected by popular vote, one appointed for the Speaker, and two ex officio members; members serve four-year terms) elections: last held 27 November 2003 (next to be held not later than NA 2007) election results: percent of vote by party - GSD 58%, GSLP 41%; seats by party - GSD 8, GSLP 7 Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal Political parties and leaders: Gibraltar Liberal Party [Joseph GARCIA]; Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Peter CARUANA]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Joseph John BOSSANO] Political pressure groups and leaders: Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Women's Association International organization participation: Interpol (subbureau) Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK) Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK) Flag description: two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three-towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band

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History of Gibraltar

Gibraltar derives from Gibel Tariq – Tariq’s Mountain – which is named after Tariq Ibn Zeyad who led the eighth-century conquest of Spain by a combined force of Arabs and Berbers crossing from Africa. Gibraltar’s unusual status was not acquired until almost 1000 years later, long after the Islamic invaders had been driven out by the Spanish, as a consequence of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht which brought to an end the War of the Spanish Succession and gave the territory to Britain. The British interpretation of the treaty moreover, holds that the territory was ceded to them indefinitely. The presence of a foreign-owned mini-state on the Spanish mainland has been an irritant to Anglo-Spanish relations ever since (though the UK points to the Spanish-controlled enclaves of Ceuta and Mellila on the Moroccan coast). The Spanish dictator, General Franco, launched a campaign in 1963 through the United Nations to reclaim Gibraltar, adding to the pressure by closing the border and severing telephone links. Since the death of Franco in 1975 and the return of democracy to Spain, relations between London and Madrid have improved immensely in every area – except Gibraltar. The current Spanish position was first outlined by Felipe González, Spain’s Socialist premier during the 1980s, when he suggested joint Anglo-Spanish sovereignty. Successive Spanish governments, including the present Aznar administration, have since refined the proposals, allowing for possible EU or NATO involvement. The British have no major objection, in principle, to the Spanish recovering full sovereignty over the territory – provided they are guaranteed continued access to its military base facilities. The problem is that the Gibraltarians are having none of it: no handover; no joint sovereignty; no Spanish involvement whatsoever. In response to the latest round of talks between London and Madrid which began in 2001 and explored in detail possible joint sovereignty models, the Gibraltar government led by Peter Caruana organised a referendum in November 2002 to assess the popular mood. As expected, it returned a huge majority in favour of the status quo. Whatever its preferred option, it is politically impossible for any British government to cede the territory to Spain against the clear wishes of the inhabitants. Domestic politics in Gibraltar are dominated by two main blocs, the ruling centre-right Social Democrats and the opposition alliance of the Socialist Labour Party and the Liberal Party. The Social Democrats formed the present government after their victory under the leadership of Peter Caruana, who was re-elected Prime Minister at the most recent poll in February 2000. On the issue of sovereignty, there are some differences in emphasis, but no essential difference between the basic positions of any of the three parties. Following the 2002 referendum, whose legitimacy was rejected by both the British and Spanish governments, talks between the two staggered on for another six months. Finally, in June 2003, the British put the process on ice, telling the Spanish that without a fundamental change in the attitude of the Gibraltarians, the status quo would remain. It is difficult to see any prospect of change in the near future: should it come to pass, a major change in economic conditions (see Economy) is the most likely source.

People of Gibraltar

Population: 27,833 (July 2004 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (male 2,554; female 2,452) 15-64 years: 66.2% (male 9,460; female 8,965) 65 years and over: 15.8% (male 1,939; female 2,463) (2004 est.) Median age: total: 39 years male: 38.8 years female: 39.2 years (2004 est.) Population growth rate: 0.19% (2004 est.) Birth rate: 10.99 births/1,000 population (2004 est.) Death rate: 9.05 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.) Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2004 est.) Infant mortality rate: total: 5.22 deaths/1,000 live births male: 5.81 deaths/1,000 live births female: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.52 years male: 76.65 years female: 82.54 years (2004 est.) Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman (2004 est.) Nationality: noun: Gibraltarian(s) adjective: Gibraltar Ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, German, North Africans Religions: Roman Catholic 76.9%, Church of England 6.9%, Muslim 6.9%, Jewish 2.3%, none or other 7% (1991) Languages: English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese Literacy: definition: NA total population: above 80% male: NA female: NA
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