• 21-MAY-2013

  • European Parliament, Strasbourg; Athens, Greece; Geneva, Switzerland

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Tax Fraud, Evasion and Havens: "We Want our Money Back" Say S&D Euro MPs

On the eve of the European summit, S&D Euro MPs called on EU leaders to take strong action against tax fraud and evasion, which costs €1000 billion every year in Europe.

They led a cross-party majority on a report drafted by S&D MEP Mojca Kleva Kekuš which proposed 30 specific measures to act against tax fraud, evasion, avoidance and tax havens.

Said S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda during a debate today in Strasbourg:
"We need strong action, not just declarations. »

"We want our money back from the tax havens" he said, referring to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's famous demand on the UK rebate from the European budget.

"The money is there and we want it back. It is not acceptable that €1 trillion – €2000 per citizen – is not going to investments but is lost to tax havens or tax evasion."

He added that it is "shameful" that EU finance ministers had to rely on investigative journalists to get names and data for offshore accounts.

"Citizens feel that journalists have more powers or more willingness to fight tax evasion than their governments and that is not acceptable", he said.

He called on Austria and Luxembourg to agree to the full package of measures to fight tax evasion, including the extension of automatic information exchanges between fiscal administrations.

Against the background of extreme austerity and rising unemployment, he concluded "we need investment, especially for the younger generation.

Available video includes an edited package.

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