Whistle-blower to receive Parliament's European Citizen's Award
A press release of Fabio De Masi
Antoine Deltour, one of the whistle-blowers nominated by the GUE/NGL as candidate for the Sakharov Prize for freedom of expression, will be in the European Parliament in Brussels today and tomorrow to receive another award, the European Citizen's Prize.
This prize, launched by the Parliament in 2008, recognises exceptional achievements by European people or organisations who have contributed in a remarkable way to European cooperation and the promotion of common values. Deltour will be one of 47 people from across the EU to receive this award this year.
Deltour is the chief whistle-blower in the LuxLeaks affair, which revealed a huge system of tax-saving and tax-dodging, created by and for the benefit of dozens of big international companies in Luxembourg. He is currently being prosecuted by the Luxembourg authorities.
Commenting on the award, GUE/NGL MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat said: "This award recognizes the commitment and courage of Antoine Deltour for having denounced the violation of the fundamental rights of European citizens and in particular their economic and social rights.
"This award is well deserved but the European Parliament should go further by awarding him, as well as Edward Snowden and Stéphanie Gibaud, the Sakharov Prize - as proposed by the GUE/NGL. Whistleblowers take considerable risks to their personal life by denouncing scandals most often covered by states. They not only deserve to be rewarded but also to be protected."
Fabio de Masi added: "Antoine Deltour deserves the European Citizen's Prize. It is however one thing to award prizes, the other is to walk the talk. Parliament has to push harder for decent whistle-blower protection instead of letting the Commission get away with further weakening this protection through the trade secrets directive.
"The EU imposes austerity on the majority of our people while protecting the tax-dodging industry and exposing citizens such as Antoine Deltour to economic and judicial harassment. Deltour faces up to 5 years of prison in Luxembourg for telling the truth about secret tax deals in favour of multinational corporations.
Speaking about the GUE/NGL nominees for this year's Sakharov Prize, Deltour , Stéphanie Gibaud and US citizen Edward Snowden, Fabio de Masi concluded: "They spoke the truth to power and remind us of how the very foundations of the EU and its powerful elites work against fundamental rights each and every day."