Argentina may try to buy out Falklands: Each islander could be offered 475,000 pounds

ARGENTINA'S government is considering offering the inhabitants of the Falklands Islands between dollars 600,000 and dollars 700,000 ( pounds 475,000) each in compensation to buy an end to their long-standing opposition to the long-term transfer of sovereignty to Argentina.

A report in the English-language Buenos Aires Herald which prefaced an article by Sir Alan Walters, former economic adviser to Baroness Thatcher, said that President Carlos Menem's diplomats had suggested figures of up to dollars 600,000 to dollars 700,000 for each of the 2,500 or so islanders

The article by Sir Alan, written in April but published in August, suggested that 'I am inclined now to think that a sum of dollars 100,000 per capita' should be offered by Argentina to the islanders if it 'wished to ensure gaining sovereignty'. Sir Alan's article in the newspaper says that 'Britain is spending between dollars 100-200m a year in fortifying against another invasion'.

According to the newspaper article, a referendum on a cash settlement should be called. Argentina and Britain should name bankers, place compensation cash in an escrow account, and if the vote is to accept, the money would be paid out directly to each islander.

Argentina's Foreign Minister, Guido di Tella, a fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, has tried actively to establish direct links with the 'Kelpers' in Port Stanley.

He and President Menem are understood to favour a cash settlement and diplomats have mentioned figures six times those suggested in Sir Alan's article.

Mr Di Tella's attempted contacts with the islanders started with greetings by fax at Christmas.

The BBC World Service programme Calling the Falklands invited Mr Di Tella to a phone-in from Bush House on 18 June. Only three islanders talked to the Argentine foreign minister.

The islands' councillors rejected the telephone discussion. Two of the callers questioned Argentina's ability to respect and maintain democracy. The headline in the 19 June edition of Port Stanley's Penguin News quoted one caller saying the essence of the phone-in was that they should 'be free to differ'.

The Buenos Aires Herald article quoted Sir Alan as saying that the initiative would have to come from Argentina.

'The British foreign Office would tend to shrug off any such proposals - after all the status quo is peaceful and it avoids any of the emotional trauma that would accompany, inevitably, I fear, a transfer of sovereignty,' he said.

'And the last thing Major wants, after all the gaffes of the last six months, is yet another hot potato on his plate'.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Recruitment Genius: Invoicing Clerk

£14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Administrator / Marketing Assistant

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of packag...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales - OTE £30,000

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a rapidly expanding offi...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy