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Operation: RxQ

The mission is to get Loyola de Palacio dismissed as EU Commissioner for Transport. On 15th November 2002 she abused her position during an interview with Onda Cero to accuse Gibraltar of money-laundering, tax evasion, smuggling and "inappropriate activities". The interview was supposed to be about the sinking of the MV Prestige, for which, as EU Transport Commissioner, she bears some responsibility for the long timelag then in place for the implementation of the "Erika" directives.

Listen to her own words (in Spanish) (MP3)

"No siga, porque lo mismo pienso yo que piensa usted que piensa todo el mundo, es que entonces la realidad, porque ahí, claramente, hay problemas de evasión fiscal, y problemas pues, al final lo que suele suceder en Gibraltar, que estamos, me temo, me temo, al fin habrà que verlo con mas detalle, un acaso mas de evitar pagar impuestos, de, de, de contrabando y de actividades pues no adecuadas, que eso es lo malo, que es lo que se ha convertido en este momento del peñòn, no hay nada mas que ver. 20,000 ciudadanos que piden 60,000 lineas de telèfono, bueno, de apartir de ahí ya me explicarà usted a que se dedican en Gibraltar."


"Don’t continue, because I think the same as you, the same as everybody, is that the reality, because there, clearly, there are problems with tax evasion, and problems that, what tends to happen in Gibraltar, that we are, I fear, I fear, we’ll have to see it with more detail, another case or avoiding taxes, of, of, of smuggling and of activities well, not adequate, and that is the bad thing, which is what the Rock has come to, you only have to look at this: 20,000 citizens that ask for 60,000 telephone lines, well, from there can you explain to me to what they get up to in Gibraltar."

The idea is to get as many people as possible complaining- she has had a more than adequate time to retract her remarks. As well as the relevant sections of the EU code and an official complaints form, below, you could say that as an EU Commissioner, she was well aware that the accusations were baseless (even the Spanish government has yet to provide a single piece of evidence to back them up), and that linking Gibraltar with the Prestige was intended as an attack on our bunkering industry. As such she was acting from "national interest"- and not as an impartial EU representative. Please use your own words, be polite and to the point.

Download an EU complaint form. (PDF)

Relevant sections of EU code:

Section 2

Guidelines for Good Administrative Behaviour -Objectivity and impartiality-

Staff shall always act objectively and impartially, in the Community interest and for the public good. They shall act independently within the framework of the policy fixed by the Commission and their conduct shall never be guided by personal or national interest or political pressure.

Section 3

Information on the Rights of Interested Parties -Listening to all parties with a direct interest-

Where Community law provides that interested parties should be heard, staff shall ensure that an opportunity is given to them to make their views known.

Full details from:


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