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13-04-2016

MEPs call for crackdown on tax fraud in “Panama Papers” debate

MEPs urged the EU Commission and member states to step up their efforts to fight tax evasion and money laundering in a Tuesday afternoon debate prompted by the “Panama Papers” revelations about more than 200,000 offshore companies and their secret owners. The EPP group wants representatives of Mossack Fonseca, the company from which the information leaked, and of the Panamanian government, to appear before Parliament’s Special Committee on Taxation II.

Call to blacklist tax- and secrecy havens

Several other groups called for a pan-European blacklist to be drawn up of tax- and secrecy havens and for penalties for entities using them. They also urged EU member states to embrace transparency proposals instead of watering them down.

The ECR criticized national politicians "who all knew about this type of tax evasion for years but didn't do anything about it."

Via the below links you can access the live replays of the different speakers:

Opening statements by Jeanine HENNIS-PLASSCHAERT, Dutch Presidency of the Council

Opening statement by Commissioner for Taxation Pierre MOSCOVICI 1

Opening statement by Commissioner for Taxation Pierre MOSCOVICI 2

Statement by Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN (EPP, ES)

Statement by Giovanni PITTELLA (S&D, IT)

Statement by Bernd LUCKE (ECR, DE)

Statement by Sylvie Goulard (ALDE, FR)

Statement by Fabio de Masi (GUE/NGL, DE)

Statement by Philippe LAMBERTS (Greens/EFA, BE)

Statement by Steven WOOLFE (EFDD, UK)

Statement by Bernard MONOT (ENF, FR)

Commissioner Moscovici: "Wake-up call"

Taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he hoped that the “Panama Papers” scandal would serve as a "wake-up call" that produces something positive. He called on EU member states to show commitment to tackling tax evasion and tax fraud, fighting aggressive tax planning and preventing money laundering. He specifically cited the need to know the beneficial owners of companies, a provision that was included in the anti-money laundering directive under pressure from the European Parliament. He also urged member states to back transparency initiatives, which need their unanimous support.

Dutch Presidency: "targeted update of anti-money laundering directive”

Dutch Minister of Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, representing the Council, said the Dutch Presidency was striving to expedite the Council’s work on corporate tax transparency proposals and accelerate the transposition of the anti-money laundering directive into national laws.

In its June update this directive also needs targeted amendments to ensure that the authorities have access to bank account information and the world of virtual currencies, she said, adding that she was looking forward to seeing the Commission’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, which should be completed before May.

EP Live EbS+ (12.04.2016) Storify