AD backs EU Greens call for an inquiry on Panama Leaks

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Alternattiva Demokratika expresses its support for the call by the Greens in the European Parliament for an EU Parliament inquiry committee into the Panama Leaks revelations, said AD Secretary General, Ralph Cassar.

The Panama Leaks revelations, show how wealthy individuals and firms channel funds through offshore firms to avoid paying taxes. The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament is leading the push for the creation of a European Parliament inquiry committee to properly investigate the revelations and their implications at EU level.

“Panama Leaks shows we have so far just been scratching at the surface of the odious tax avoidance practises employed by individuals and businesses around the world and Europe. The Panama Papers have shown that obligations under existing EU anti-money laundering legislation are not enforced by EU governments and authorities. It would appear that, as with the revelations in Luxembourg Leaks, EU institutions and governments have failed in their duty to enforce the law. Malta’s role in global tax evasion and the use of fiduciary companies by people connected to the Italian Mafia is also extremely worrying. Normal working people contribute to society and public services through taxation while the super rich hide their money to avoid shouldering their responsibilities.”

In the statement by the Greens/EFA group, economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold said: “An inquiry committee is the most powerful tool available to the EP and can investigate breaches of EU law by member states and if the Commission acted in accordance with its duties under the EU treaties. It will ensure MEPs have sufficient resources for such an investigation, as well as access to the necessary documents. We will work to secure as broad political support as possible for the creation of such a committee. We believe the mandate of this inquiry committee should also include the ongoing work of the EP’s special committee investigating tax avoidance in the aftermath of Luxembourg Leaks. The work of this committee is still being hampered by the refusal of EU governments and the Commission to make all the necessary documents available, and having a stronger status would also help it fulfil its mandate.”

Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts also said that the other groups in the European Parliament, including the Socialists and EPP failed to support the Greens’ proposal to postpone the vote on the EU trade secrets rules. These new rules will have major negative impacts for whistleblowers and the media and would make it more difficult for revelations like Panama Leaks to emerge.