Panama recalls European Union ambassador over tax haven list

Panama recalls European Union ambassador over tax haven list

EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said after a meeting of the bloc's finance ministers that beyond the 17 nations, over 40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are fully committed to reforms.

"Given the unfortunate incorporation of the country in this discriminatory list, the Republic of Panama has chose to call its Ambassador to the European Union, Dario Chiru, to assess the steps to be followed moving forward", the government said in a statement.

South Korea, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Bahrain, Panama and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries named Tuesday as "non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes".

The EU said in a statement of Tuesday that the goal of the list is to ensure its partners adhere to the same tax standards as itself, calling it "a key victory for transparency and fairness".

Is this enough? It seems that even today, some member states such as France, think that jurisdictions should also face some form of sanction.

"We must intensify the pressure on listed countries to change their ways". "No one must get a free pass", he added.

Saudi anti-corruption drive: Detainees offered pardon
According to the statement, the total number of those who have been detained and whose accounts have been frozen stands at 376. The attorney general also emphasised that the investigations will not affect businesses owned by the detained individuals.

Other critics pointed to other countries missing from the list, such as the Bahamas, Malta, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands - to mention just a few.

The list was made on the basis of three main components: tax transparency, fair tax competition and implementation of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which is a way of battling tax avoidance created by the OECD.

The blacklisted countries are accused of behaving like tax havens.

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici earlier commented that EU leaders were still in talks over an initial list of 29 countries, with disagreements still strong on who will make the final version. Among them are Switzerland, Morocco, Turkey, Qatar, Thailand and Hong Kong.

European Union states launched a process in February to list tax havens in a bid to discourage setting up shell structures overseas which are themselves in many cases legal but could hide illicit activities, following a number of disclosures of offshore tax avoidance schemes by companies and wealthy individuals.

Related Articles