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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones