The European Union has just granted another extension to the United Kingdom to avoid a Brexit without an agreement. Given the disunity of British parliamentarians and to prevent a disaster on both sides of the English Channel, Brussels extends the calendar until October for London to do its homework and sign its agreed departure.
And is that, if this process by which the United Kingdom intends to leave the European club occurs without an agreement between the parties affected, the so-called hard Brexit can have serious consequences for the economy, both for the country of parliamentary democracy and for the controversial territory of Gibraltar.
The worst possible scenario in these negotiations, known as hard Brexit, is still a threat seen how difficult it has been for the British parliament to negotiate the agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May took from Brussels. The big British industries in charge of banking, insurance, pharmaceutical or aviation among others may end up fleeing the country in a similar way to what happened in Catalonia with the independence issue. The deadline by which the United Kingdom will become a non-European country was marked on the calendar for March 29 but after another minimum extension already consumed, now is October the key month to prevent the output is catastrophic at the economic level And social.
As for Gibraltar, the great fortunes that operate in the Rock can be affected in the same way as their "compatriots". Many of these entrepreneurs who dominate Gibraltar take advantage of the taxation of the overseas territory and the quality of life in some areas of southern Spain. Thus, it is estimated that of the more than 34,000 inhabitants of the rock, which are called llanitos, 7,000 of them have their residence in Spain, which is 20% of the population of Gibraltar. The great families of the British territory that has an unemployment rate of less than 1% have mansions in luxury housing developments in Cádiz, one of the provinces with the highest unemployment rate in all of Spain.
Every day an average of 30,000 people and 18,000 vehicles circulate between Spain and the territory belonging to the United Kingdom. Among the thousands of people passing the gate, you can find English tourists recently landed on a flight of the many lowcost United Kingdom with Gibraltar, hundreds of Spanish workers who cross the border to earn wages in all types of business in the Rock and, of course, many of the great llanitos entrepreneurs who travel aboard their luxury cars of British brands such as Jaguar, Bentleys, Aston Martin. These large fortunes today prefer the spaciousness of the villas in Cadiz, in urbanizations such as La Alcaidesa or Sotogrande, rather than residing in flats in the luxurious Chelsea neighborhood of Chelsea or withstanding the straits of an isthmus of only 6.5 square kilometers and 30,000 inhabitants. .
That is why many Gibraltarians look at the other side of the fence to realize their dreams of greatness. They usually spend the weekend in Spain, to return on Monday to work in the Rock. But every day those who live permanently within our borders increase more. The Gibraltarians are especially concentrated in certain enclaves in the vicinity of the Line of the Conception. The middle classes do it in the neighborhood of Santa Margarita, located in the same city; the more affluent, especially the new fortunes, prefer in the exclusive La Alcaidesa urbanization, north of La Línea. And the elites, some with more than 6 generations of llanitos, move to Sotogrande, where the most exclusive of Gibraltar resides: politicians, businessmen and lawyers.
The fact of residing in Gibraltar Gibraltar not only offers its residents tax advantages. Salaries are higher than those we can find in Spain today and the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world with 0.49% unemployment. In addition, the retirement age in the Rock is much lower. But these circumstances are not enough for wealthier families to decide to have Gibraltar as a residential home. This elite prefers the ample space and comfort that Spain offers. The small size of the Gibraltar area means a high increase in the price of housing, which is why the llanite fortunes prefer to live beyond the fence.
Most of these powerful Gibraltarian families enjoy a comfortable life in Spain and are not for the work of having to give it up. That is the reason why the 'no' Brexit got its maximum rate last year in the Rock, with 95.91% of the vote.
La Alcaidesa: favorite residential area
The middle-class workers who live in the south of the peninsula usually choose the Santa Margarita neighborhood, located on the Línea de la Concepción, as the main destination. The average price of the floors (with common areas, garden and pool) is around 125,000 euros and the llanitos can enjoy some comforts that they do not enjoy in their homeland.
The Alcaidesa, an urban complex that is among the favorites of the great fortunes of Gibraltar.
But, without a doubt, one of the preferred residential places for the inhabitants of Gibraltar is La Alcaidesa, an urban development that has high-quality features, such as an excellent beach, golf course and views of the Rock. In this luxurious area is where the new rich llanitos prefer to settle to enjoy the climate and breadth they do not find in the British territory. Their floors, although with disproportionate prices for the inhabitant of on foot of the Cádiz region of Campo de Gibraltar, are affordable for the well-to-do llanitos. The usual thing is to be attached from 250,000 euros, luxury apartments of 150 meters and 3 rooms by 300,000 and the icing on the cake, independent houses that exceed 500,000 euros and even reach one million euros.
In spite of the high quality of life that the llanitos find in La Alcaidesa, there is an exclusive zone where the most select of the Gibraltarian society holds. This is Sotogrande, an urbanization that is almost on the border with the province of Malaga. There they enjoy villas with golf courses, a marina and all the amenities, a paradise that has become the oasis of the great families who have made their fortune in Gibraltar. In this exclusive area, large houses exceed one million euros and the most luxurious exceed 4 million.
The llanite elite prefers Sotogrande
The llanitos find a bargain in Spain, not only for infrastructures that do not pay, but also for the tax advantages, which reach such a point that they can ask for the VAT refund of all their purchases in Spain when they arrive at the gate. If a person lives more than half a year outside their country of origin, they would be a resident of the host, but the little demand from the Peñón authorities only requires setting up a "real" company in Gibraltar and justifying a proof of accommodation.
Sotogrande, another of the luxurious areas where many fortunes of Gibraltar are concentrated.
Most of the Llanite elites take advantage of this laxity. Many of these share Italian, Arab or even Jewish surnames, as Gibraltar always had a large Genoese population, after the United Kingdom got the colony in the Treaty of Utrecht. After the bombings to which Spain subjected the Rock in its unsuccessful attempts to recover at the end of the 18th century, the city was rebuilt with Maltese, and especially Genoese, who gave it its current appearance. These first settlers began to make their fortune with contraband, at this crossroads between Spain, Morocco and even Portugal. Then they went on to take advantage of the tax benefits, the importation of wines, liquors, tobacco. And now it's the online game, the fuel and, of course, all kinds of offshore companies that move the thread. And around these, law firms, whose most prestigious names are on the cusp of Gibraltarian society.
One of the main fortunes is the Hassan Family, owner of Hassans International LawFirm, the largest law firm in Gibraltar and created by Patriarch Sir. Joshua Hassan, born in 1915 and died in 1997. One of his main lawyers was the current Gibraltarian Prime Minister, Fabian Picardo. Precisely, this office, with Picardo to the front, exercised the accusation against the Murcian businessman Trinitario Casanova, who was the owner of the Edificio España in Madrid, for the case of Banco Popular shares.
Sir Joshua, of Jewish Sephardic origin, studied for a lawyer in the United Kingdom and began to practice in England and Wales but at the outbreak of World War II he enlisted as a volunteer rifleman in the Gibraltar Defense Force, staying in the Rock while many of his countrymen were evacuated. There he became Prime Minister of Gibraltar for 17 years. The Hassan not only have houses in Sotogrande, they also have a branch of their law firm there.
Politicians and magnates, all in Sotogrande
Fabian Picardo, disciple of magnate Hassan also has a house in the luxurious urbanization of Sotogrande, although he is already seen much less. Peter Caruana, his predecessor as Gibraltarian Prime Minister, also has a house in Sotogrande. Caruana, retired from politics, now enjoys the island of Sotogrande.
Another of the most famous names in Gibraltar with residence in Sotogrande was the lawyer Joseph Triay, who died in 2012. Rival de los Hassan, also had a law firm in Sotogrande. In fact, his daughter, Cristina, wife of Peter Caruana, still lives there. He was considered the most eminent lawyer in Gibraltar and one of the so-called pigeons, who in 1968 defended secret talks with the Franco regime. He went on to state that sovereignty over Gibraltar would pass to Spain in exchange for a high degree of autonomy for a Government elected by the Gibraltarians themselves. He spent his last years in Sotogrande, where Joseph became a José or José Manuel to the locals to whom he always politely responded his greetings.
Another family assiduous to Sotogrande is that of the Stagnetto. His patriarch Maurice Stagnetto leads one of Gibraltar's best-known wine and liquor import companies, Lewis Stagnetto Ltd. Gibraltar – Importers & Distributorssince 1870. Although he is president of the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce, he resides in Sotogrande. His children also follow in his wake, his daughter Maurice even opened a fashion and accessories shop called Libélula in this urbanization in Cádiz.
John Bassadone, who along with his son are the "gasolineros" of Gibraltar.
Of this advantageous situation between Spanish and British territory also enjoy the Bassadone, father and son, the so-called gasolineros. Gibraltar has been erected as a giant gas station for the more than 80,000 ships that cross the Strait each year. In the waters of the Rock there are numerous tankers that supply fuel to the merchandise ships that cross this route. All at a price free of taxes. Even Cepsa, with its San Roque refinery, does not hesitate to partner with these Gibraltarian entrepreneurs who take advantage of the laxity of taxes and the environment in the Rock.
Around this fuel business stands John Bassadone Sr., who runs the group Gibunco, Gibiraltar's largest private company, which provides maintenance solutions to merchant ships. His son, John A. Bassadone, an oil magnate with the company Peninsula Petroleum, associated with Cepsa, openly recognizes that he not only spends his weekends in Sotogrande, but lives there every day. Practice sailing and regatta with your RC44 sail class boat that bears the name of your company.
Bland Group is another of Gibraltar's major tourism and logistics groups whose owners live on the Spanish coast.
The owners of BlandGroup, one of the most important tourism and logistics companies in the Peñón, are another family that lives on the Spanish coast. The Gaggero were the owners of the airline GB Air that later sold to Easy Jet, today they maintain the handling of the airport of Gibraltar and the Hotel Rock. The patriarch of the saga, Joseph James Gaggero, was awarded by the Hispano-British Association for his relations between both sides of the fence. His son, James Gaggero, represents the sixth generation of the Gaggero, who arrived in Gibraltar in 1810 from Genoa. He currently lives in London but spends his summers in Sotogrande as many of the members of the saga who share golf or polo tournaments. Gaggero spent many years giving away the rent of the Cervantes Institute in Gibraltar, until its closure was announced.
What some already call "Gribaltarexit" is a major threat to the powerful families that dominate Gibralar and reside on the Costa del Sol, staggering their status of life. His desire is to continue managing the politics and business of Gibraltar as they have been doing for many years from their opulent Cadiz mansions overlooking the Rock, while the average inhabitant of Cadiz has to deal with one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.