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HomeWorldPanama Papers and the role of intermediaries: Targeting these professions can make a real difference – Diplomatic Intelligence

Panama Papers and the role of intermediaries: Targeting these professions can make a real difference – Diplomatic Intelligence

aldeBRUSSELS, March 03, 2017 – The Panama Papers scandal has highlighted how certain financial intermediaries and other providers of financial and tax advice appear to have actively helped their clients to conceal money offshore. It is against this backdrop that ALDE MEPs Petr Ježek (PANA Co-Rapporteur) and Michael Theurer (ALDE PANA Coordinator) hosted a high-level seminar Thursday, bringing together experts on this field, both at the technical and political level.

Petr Ježek (ANO, Czech Republic) said after the seminar:

“The exchange of views we had today with experts proved once again the central role that intermediaries like tax advisers, lawyers, accountants or bankers play in the world of tax evasion and money laundering. They blur the lines between what is legal tax planning and what is clearly tax avoidance or even tax evasion. Targeting these professions is what can make a real difference.”

“The recently adopted revised anti money laundering directive is a first step towards more transparency. The European Parliament should not dilute its position when negotiating with Member States. “

Michael Theurer (FDP, Germany) added:

“The role of intermediaries in illicit offshore finance activities is at the core of our work in the inquiry committee. I am, however, very much concerned about the ongoing inaction or outright decline to meet us by various intermediaries that we have contacted for discussions. Needless to say that many of these houses (like Ernest and Young, KPMG, or Deloitte e.g.) regularly contact us to discuss for example ongoing legislative work or general political issues. I will in the future consider whether I should devote my time when they think that they can ignore the European Parliament with such disrespect.”

ALDE Group/Brussels

(via Google News)