Panama Leaks: We need a committee of inquiry
A press release of Fabio De Masi
Following further revelations in the context of the Panama Papers which continue to expose the dirty offshore business of the rich and powerful, GUE/NGL Coordinator for the Special Committee on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature and effect (TAXE 2), Fabio De Masi, urges tough and swift action by the European Parliament (EP):
"The leaks make evident the massive amount of offshore wealth stolen from citizens and public coffers and stashed away in tax havens. Meanwhile the people of Europe suffer from austerity and the rich get richer. The EP should upgrade the TAXE committee into a permanent committee of inquiry with adequate resources."
De Masi calls on the EP's large conservative and social-democrat groups to not obstruct the establishment of an inquiry committee like after the Luxembourg Leaks: "EU Member States, like the Netherlands – the current holder of the European Council Presidency – and others continue to maintain Double Tax Agreements with tax havens like Panama. Germany is a paradise for money laundering and several EU politicians are affected by the leaks. We need to get the rights as Parliament to subpoena those ministers responsible as well as the tax evaders' assistants like Mossack Fonseca and global banks."
De Masi concludes: "Those jurisdictions which fail to implement all necessary measures against tax cheating and money laundering like public company registers and an encompassing automatic information exchange should be subjected to withholding taxes. Banks which systematically and repeatedly aid tax evasion need to have their licences withdrawn, in line with the European Parliament's December 2015 recommendation."