PANA hearing: ICIJ journalists echo our demands
The European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into the Panama Papers (PANA) has held its first full hearing today with a number of ICIJ journalists. PANA vice-president Fabio De Masi (DIE LINKE.) comments after the exchange of views:
"Today's hearing has provided ample evidence that the reaction to the Panama Papers scandal has been entirely insufficient so far. Even with the revised anti-money laundering directive as proposed by the European Commission, offshore money can still be kept under the veil of secrecy thanks to the nominee director loophole. This will also make the public registers on beneficial owners ineffective, if information is notoriously unreliable.”
"It is also scandalous that dividing up company ownership among five people is still enough to circumvent the registration of beneficial owners thanks to the largely maintained 25% ownership threshold. How many more leaks do we need before public pressure is high enough to get such basic things right?"
"We equally concur with the harsh criticism voiced against the treatment of whistleblowers. The Commission continues to drag its feet instead of proposing a framework for their protection. LuxLeaks whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, together with journalist Edouard Perrin, are in the meantime awaiting their next trial in December."
"And it has become again evident that there will be no clean-up of this offshore mess without stricter enforcement of rules against banks and legal intermediaries, including the introduction of more meaningful sanctions such as revoking business licences based on corporate criminal liability provisions."