At a joint press conference with Alternattiva Demokratika, the Vice-President of the Greens-EFA Group in the European Parliament, Ska Keller MEP said: “It is a pity that the name of Malta crops up when the issue of tax avoidance comes up. The Panama Papers scandal has unfortunately seen the involvement of a former Maltese Minister, Ninu Zammit; of a present Minister, Konrad Mizzi; and of the present Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri. This, unfortunately has contributed to the focusing of attention on Malta’s financial services. But this is not the only episode. We European Greens have commissioned an investigation on the Germany company BASF. The results are scandalous and, unfortunately, together with Belgium and Holland, Malta is also involved in this other instance of tax avoidance.”
AD Chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola, said: “The BASF case again highlights the issue of tax avoidance. We Greens of Alternattiva Demokratika believe that it is unethical for multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes where these are due. Less due taxes collected means less public investment in the public health, education, ecological and social sectors. The Luxleaks, Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers and Bahamas papers are bringing to light scandals of corporations, politicians and other individuals who have been dodging taxes at the expense of the common good.”
“The change in financial practices can present a golden opportunity for Malta. Malta should start distancing itself from practices which can be seen as an encouragement of tax avoidance. We Maltese have the experience and the intelligence to innovate. In the past we moved from “offshore” to “onshore”; we created from nothing our maritime flag, our pharmaceutical industry, our aircraft servicing industry. Now is the time to start distancing ourselves from the dubious tax avoidance practices and branching out into new areas that will keep our economy vibrant and create new jobs, whilst safeguarding the ethical, social and environmental dimensions”.
The Greens’ BASF investigation can be found on: https://www.greens-efa.eu/fileadmin/dam/Documents/TAXE_committee/ToxicTaxDealsVF2.pdf