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Luxembourg not so happy of Obama's success when reading between lines

Prime Minister Juncker from Luxembourg has today sent a letter to President Obama for congratulation :

Luxembourg, 5th November 2008
Dear Senator,

It is with great joy that I learnt early this morning that you have been elected to serve as the next President of the United States of America. Let me express to you my heartfelt congratulations in the name of the Luxembourg Govemment and on my own behalf.

Luxembourg and the United States are bound by a longstanding, deep friendship that is based on shared values and historical experience as weIl as immigration and trade links. Like many people aIl over the world at this critical time in the history of humankind, the people of Luxembourg are looking towards the United States for leadership and cooperation when it cornes to facing challenges such as climate change, sustainable development, the fight against poverty and disease, the reform of the global financial system, the establishment of a socially and environmentally conscious worldwide trading regime, or the promotion of peace in those areas of our world that are afflicted by the scourges of war and terrorism.

All of these challenges can only be effectively addressed if the European Union and the United States work closely together. I am convinced that your historical election will give a substantial boost to the transatlantic relationship and I am looking forward to working with you and meeting you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Claude JUNCKER
Prime Minister

Source : www.gouvernement.lu

When he states that the people of Luxembourg are looking towards the United States for leadership and cooperation, there is one area that is not quoted for such for leadership and cooperation : the fight against tax havens.

Many politicians in Luxembourg should be aware that the paradigm shift that is accentuated by President Obama's victory. Obama is one of the senators that have introduced a bill, with the unwieldy title of "Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act" (summary here.) Its declared intention is "to protect the United States from U.S. corporations being misused to commit terrorism, money laundering, tax evasion, or other misconduct."

President Obama said earlier this year "And it’s time to shed some sunlight not only on companies that abuse the tax code, but also on the secretive offshore tax havens that shelter them. We’ll create a list of countries where tax evaders hide their income and cost America untold billions of dollars every year. We’ll lead the international community to new standards of information sharing. And we’ll penalize companies and individuals who use those havens and illegally evade their tax obligations. (...) "To ensure that we are fiscally responsible, we’ll gain revenue by shutting down corporate loopholes and tax havens."

I do not think that he is gonna support the Luxembourg business doctrine as expressed by Lucien Thiel (former chairman of the Luxembourg bankers’ association) :
- It is not our duty to control if the taxpayer was honest,
- Luxembourg is not compelled to communicate its clients’ data.

17:09 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

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