Spain is considering a 50 euro fee to cross its border with Gibraltar, amid a row over an artificial reef.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told a Spanish newspaper the proceeds would “help fishermen affected by the destruction of fishing grounds”.
The latest tensions come after the British territory began work on the concrete reef, which Spain claims infringes the rights of its fishermen.
The UK Foreign Office said it was “concerned” at the minister’s comments.
Britain has governed Gibraltar for 300 years but Spain disputes UK sovereignty over the rocky outcrop on its southern tip.
In the interview with ABC newspaper, published on Sunday, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Spain was considering the fee to enter and exit Gibraltar through its border post with Spain.
The minister was also quoted as saying that Spanish tax authorities could launch an investigation into property owned by around 6,000 Gibraltarians in neighboring parts of Spain.
Spain is also considering closing its airspace to flights heading to Gibraltar, and changing the law so that online gaming companies operating from the British overseas territory have to use Spanish servers and come under the jurisdiction of Madrid’s taxation regime, he said.
Spain is considering a 50 euro fee to cross its border with Gibraltar, amid a row over an artificial reef
Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo cited the “extreme measure” by Gibraltar of “throwing concrete blocks with spikes that destroy the fishing grounds” – thought to be in reference to the reef.
He said that as well as the border fees measure, Spain would stop concrete and other materials being brought in through the border for the building of the reef.
A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign Office said: “We are concerned by today’s comments on Gibraltar, which we are looking into further.
“As we have said, we will not compromise on our sovereignty over Gibraltar, nor our commitment to its people. We continue to use all necessary measures to safeguard British sovereignty.”
Gibraltar started work on the artificial reef by placing concrete blocks in the sea 10 days ago.
Spain lodged a complaint with the UK over the reef which it said stopped “Spanish fishermen fishing in a manner that is contrary to our law”.
Spanish authorities later increased vehicle searches, resulting in three days of delays at the Gibraltar-Spain border last weekend.
Gibraltar linked the delays to Spain’s anger over the reef – but Spain denied this, saying it had a duty to prevent smuggling.
The British Foreign Office said the delays stopped on Monday after Foreign Secretary William Hague called his counterpart in Madrid.
On Friday Spain’s ambassador to London, Federico Trillo, was summoned to give assurances there would be no repeat.
The Falkland Islands voters are going to the polls on Sunday and Monday in a referendum on whether to remain a British Overseas Territory.
Argentina has constantly reiterated its claims to sovereignty over the islands.
This is the case more than 30 years after Argentina invaded the Falklands and its troops were ousted by a British Task Force in a 74-day conflict.
Relations between Buenos Aires and the Falkland Islands are at one of their lowest ebbs since the war.
The islanders decided to hold the referendum in response to Argentine statements about the islands and economic measures taken against the Falklands.
Argentina has continued to insist on its sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands, and the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said the inhabitants’ wishes do not count.
Falkland Islanders will have their voices heard in the referendum, with 1,672 people eligible to vote out of the islands’ total population of about 2,900.
While the result is in little doubt, there are worries that the bad weather could hamper the return of ballot boxes from some remoter places.
The hope was that Argentina and other nations would listen to the islanders’ wishes for the future – but few on the islands believed that this Argentine government was in any mood to listen.
The Falkland Islands voters are going to the polls on Sunday and Monday in a referendum on whether to remain a British Overseas Territory
International observers will oversee the vote.
There are mobile polling stations, some of which will have to be flown out to and from the outer islands, hence the voting being held over two days.
Those who cannot vote include those aged under 18 and people who are not Falkland islanders.
Some Argentines living on the islands have “Falklands status” which makes them eligible to vote.
A “yes” vote would back the status of the islands remaining as it is.
Argentina has long laid claim to the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas.
Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands on April 2, 1982, entering the capital Port Stanley early in the morning.
The garrison of Royal Marines was overwhelmed and other British South Atlantic territories including South Georgia were also seized.
In two months of fighting 255 British and about 650 Argentine servicemen were killed, along with three Falklands civilians, before Argentina surrendered.
Argentina has broadcasted a political advert filmed on the territory of Falkland Islands without authorization.
The advert features an Argentine athlete training in the Falklands ahead of the London Olympics in July.
It ends with the slogan: “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil.”
Falklands legislator Ian Hansen dismissed it as a piece of “cheap and disrespectful propaganda”.
The advert – broadcast in Argentina on Wednesday night – is the latest measure by Argentina to reassert its claim to the British overseas territory it calls the Malvinas.
The advert features an Argentine athlete training in the Falklands ahead of the London Olympics in July
Produced by the Argentine presidency, it is titled Olympic Games 2012: Homage to the Fallen and the Veterans of the Malvinas.
It shows Argentine hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running and exercising in the Falklands capital Port Stanley, interspersed with shots of penguins and the windswept South Atlantic.
Ian Hansen said the video had been filmed without permission from the islands’ authorities.
He accused Argentina of trying to “politicize the Olympics in service of its territorial ambitions”.
“It is deeply sad to see Mr. Zylberberg clambering over a war memorial. Sadly this illustrates the disrespect the Argentine authorities have for our home and our people,” Ian Hansen said.
“At no stage does the video feature any Falkland Islanders – a clear reflection of Argentina’s policy, which is to pretend that the people of the Falkland Islands do not exist.”
Last month saw the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, when Argentine forces invaded the islands before being defeated by a British task force.
Argentina wants the UK to negotiate on sovereignty, but the British government says it will not discuss the issue without the agreement of the Falkland islanders.