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GUE/NGL MEP to give keynote speech on tax justice in Bratislava today


German MEP, Fabio De Masi, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) is in Bratislava today at the invitation of the Slovak Council Presidency to address the Inter-parliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the EU.

De Masi’s keynote speech at the National Council will focus on tax justice. Speaking ahead of the conference, the German MEP says urgent action is needed from the European Commission to tackle the issue:

"Tax dodging by big business and the wealthy undermines prosperity and democracy. Apple paying just 50 euros in tax out of every 1 million euros in profit is pure theft. Money laundering obstructs tax justice as well as facilitating criminal and terrorist finance.” 

“The majority of EU citizens are going through hardship under the longest post-war depression thanks to austerity and the dismantling of the welfare state. This is a betrayal of our youth with high unemployment depriving them of their dreams and opportunities,” he continued.

“Tax justice is also paramount in reducing public debt and for funding much-needed public investment. The European Commission must push for corporate transparency by encompassing country-by-country reporting.

“An objective blacklist for tax havens that addresses corporate opacity at sub-federal level is also badly needed - such as those in US states like Delaware and Nevada and British crown dependencies - in order to prohibit banking with blacklisted tax havens.

“We must also phase out patent boxes which do not foster R&D or consolidating and distributing EU-wide corporate profits according to economic substance. The loopholes in the money laundering directive such as allowing corporations to register nominee directors must be addressed.

“I will also remind parliamentarians of the fate that befell whistleblowers like Antoine Deltour, Raphael Halet and the journalist Edouard Perrin who are facing retrial in Luxembourg. This underlines why we at the European Parliament call for stronger protection for whistleblowers," De Masi concluded.

You can find the full text of Fabio De Masi's speech here.

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