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Metsola warns against ‘knee-jerk reaction’ by EU to money laundering

"EU's legal response to Panama Papers must not infringe on tax sovereignty", Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola tells European Parliament 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
3 December 2016, 1:09pm
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola
Any action taken by the European Union to clamp down on money laundering in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal should not be used as an excuse to extend EU competencies on member states’ taxation policies, PN MEP Roberta Metsola warned.

“When it comes to money laundering, there is no doubt of the need and urgency to tackle it,” Metsola told the European Parliament. “But it is also clear that we need to be careful of knee-jerk reactions. We must be very careful not to go down the road of having a disproportionate legislative response that risks infringing on states’ sovereignty on taxation matters under the guise of going after money laundering.

“Coming from the union’s smallest economy, we need to make sure that any measures we propose do not place a hugely disproportionate burden on economies like ours.”

Metsola added that the Panama Papers scandal did not only shine a light on “dodgy dealings” with offshore tax havens, but also exposed the corrupt money laundering activities on an almost industrial scale and shed light on the secret financial set-ups of senior EU politicians.

“We have to be very clear that we need to tackle here is abusive, illegal activity – money laundering – and not member states’ tax competitiveness.”