Gibraltar, a self-governing British colony, is located on a small, narrow peninsula, at the southern tip of Spain. It overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar, and the northern coastal areas of Africa. Over the centuries, Gibraltar's unique position at the western entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, made it the focus of territorial power struggles.
Gibraltar EU Member
It was finally claimed by the British in 1713, and today it's an important port and Finance Centre. In addition, tourists by the thousands travel here to tour the attractions, "The Rock," and to enjoy the wonderful weather. It is not commonly known that Gibraltar joined the EU as an associate member of the UK in 1973. The population of Gibraltar is approximately 29,165 (July 1999 est.) although a substantial number of the working population commute daily from homes nearby in Spain
The population consists primarily of Gibraltarians but there are a number of Moroccans, British expatriates and Indians Political Structure Gibraltar is a British Dependent Territory and is a Crown Colony with internal self-government. It has its own elected House of Assembly which legislates on domestic matters. The United Kingdom is responsible for defence, foreign affairs, financial stability and internal security. Gibraltar is a member of the European Community by virtue of Article 227 paragraph 4 of the Treaty of Rome in its capacity as a territory for whose external relations a Member State (the United Kingdom ) is responsible. Gibraltar enjoys special status within the Community and is exempted from the common Customs Tariff, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Value Added Tax.
Gibraltar Financial Centre
Gibraltar is politically stable and the current Government, recently re-elected with a large majority, actively promotes Gibraltar as a first-class international financial centre. Infrastructure and Economy Since the opening of the border with Spain in 1985 the level of tourism and investment has increased dramatically. Several international banks and insurance companies now have offices in Gibraltar . Gibraltar has excellent modern postal and telecommunications systems. Thanks to a joint venture between the Gibraltar Government and the Nynex Corporation of the USA, Gibraltar enjoys the latest in digital and fiber-optic telecommunications.
There are daily flights between Gibraltar and London and frequent scheduled air services to Manchester . The Port of Gibraltar enjoys free port status and hosts frequent calls from many of the world's shipping lines, both passenger and freight. Language The official and spoken language is English although because of Gibraltar 's close proximity to Spain, Spanish is spoken widely. Currency Pound Sterling. Local Notes and Coins are produced but U.K. Currency is accepted, as is the Euro, with most shops displaying dual currency price tags.
* Population: 28,750
* Capital: Gibraltar town
* Area: 5.8 sq km (2.25 sq miles)
* Major languages: English, Spanish
* Major religion: Christianity
* Life expectancy: 76 years (men), 82 years (women)
* Monetary unit: Gibraltar pound
* Main exports: Petroleum (re-exports), manufactured goods