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Historical shotpoint gap

Reuters has reported that French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Monday her U.S. counterpart, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was moving closer to European countries' position on tax havens.
"I noted with great interest when I was in Washington and I met my (U.S.) counterpart that on the issue of tax havens in particular ... my U.S. colleague is moving closer to our positions," Lagarde told Europe 1 radio.

For the first time there is an opportunity to end the abuses of tax havens.

But it is important to be fair with the jurisdictions that are considered as tax havens and currently quoted in the media.
- One cannot stigmatise Switzerland or Luxembourg on the one hand and tolerate Monaco, Andorra or Delaware on the other hand.
- One cannot limit the tax havens to questions of banking secrecy and non-existent taxes or relatively low taxes. As I said, the key problem is permissiveness. And Luxembourg is worse than Switzerland.
- The argument of employments provided often used by the leaders of the jurisdictions (For example Jean Asselborn : "We have 150,000 workers who cross the borders daily to work; 73,000 come daily from France, just as many come from Germany and Belgium. If the banking centre is destroyed, it is a disadvantage for not just Luxembourg, but the whole region") is a perfectly fallacious argument that looks like blackmail: if such pragmatism were admissible, it would be necessary for the incomes that gets to the families to tolerate the child labour, to tolerate the childish prostitution, etc. But, it is necessary to help the jurisdictions to achieve their aggiornamento not to make rest their economic development on a lax legal and regulatory framework.

Time is up to promote a new standard for a certification to ethics that I have already presented two years ago.

Six criteria should be taken into account:

1. Credibility of the ethical statements : are leaders reliable and trustable in their communication?
2. Means for detection of improper business conduct : are the police, the justice and the tax administration given the means in relation to the economic and financial development ?
3. Credibility of sanctions : are sanctions dissuasive enough, or is it worth frauding?
4. Transparency on issues : are media playing their role of watchdog, is the regulatory body communicating on issues, are judgements easily available?
5. Independence of auditors : are auditors actually intependant from their auditees?
6. Protection of the customer: is the customer protected when professionals did not meet their requirements or did not do their duty?

17:25 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)


Dynamiting "tax havens"

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was this morning on the French radio channel. He explained he is willing to attack the havens “with dynamite”. For the moment, the weapons were “too light”, in his opinion. Dominique Strauss-Kahn wishes progress in this field at the time of the European summit of March and G20 in London early April.
Sunday, the French Minister for the Budget, Eric Woerth, had estimated that tax havens were a “shame”. He announced retaliatory measures against the banks making money in these jurisdictions.

18:00 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)


Banks in European Tax Haven Principalities Under Renewed Attack as Recession Bites in Europe

Peter Macfarlane has reported that last week Nicolas Sarkozy relaunched attacks on the two tax haven principalities bordering France: Andorra and Monaco, as well as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He said that would “review its relations” with neighboring financial havens such as Luxembourg, Andorra and Monaco. The Sarkozy announced that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be attending a summit in London in early April at which the matter would be discussed further
As I already said President Sarkozy is co-prince of Andorra and it was not fair to criticise Luxembourg without taking into account Monaco and above all Andorra. It is like the “Stop tax Haven Abuse Act” (that does not identify Monaco and Andorra as tax havens) that does not quote Delaware as a tax haven.

Paris dispatched an envoy Christian Fremont to Andorra to put further pressure on the Andorran government, who have otherwise been distracted this week by record snowfalls, reports our man in Andorra. Peter Macfarlane observed that Andorra is the only European country with bank secrecy written into its constitution, and has been blacklisted as “uncooperative” by other European authorities in the past, along with Liechtenstein, another mountainous tax haven principality.

07:14 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)