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Scicluna: ‘Parties should stand together to counter Malta Files attack on fiscal regime’

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna says Malta Files ‘obvious spin’ and attack on Malta’s fiscal and regulatory regime

Paul Cocks
20 May 2017, 11:20am
Financer Minister Edward Scicluna
Financer Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna this morning called on both major political parties and operators in the financial sector to strongly confirm their support of Malta’s fiscal regime, following the publication – in Malta and abroad – of the Malta Files today.

These include 100,000s of documents that were published by the EIC.network and show how Malta operates a tax system where companies pay the lowest tax on profits in the EU.

MaltaToday, which has previously written extensively about Malta's tax regime – the final computation system – is the only Maltese media house to have joined 12 other international media outlets in the research undertaken by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).

The information used included extensive details of Malta’s over 70,000 companies in its public company register.
Scicluna, who was addressing journalists following a press conference at Labour Party headquarters, said this latest development was very serious and of national interest.

“From the little I have seen thus far, this is obvious spin and has nothing to do with local governance,” he said. “This time, they are going for the country’s jugular, hitting us where they know it will hurt us: the fiscal regime and the regulatory regime.”

Scicluna insisted that neither the European Commission, nor the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), had expressed any misgiving about Malta’s system or any possible lack of access to information.

He said that whenever a country, for example Germany, asked about a particular company, the Maltese authorities Malta immediately provide all the information in their possession.

The minister said that the information that the Malta Files made references to information that was in fact already available online.

“I urge operators in the financial sector to stand up to this attack that is threatening their livelihood and to defend their country, away from politics,” he said. “And I expect a strong message of support for the country’s fiscal regime by both political parties.”

The Malta Files show how Malta works as a base for tax avoidance inside the EU. Although profiting from the advantages of EU membership, Malta also welcomes large companies and wealthy private clients who try to dodge taxes in their home countries.

This damages the budgets of other EU countries and reveals a weakness in the European Union, which allows member states sovereign rights over their taxation.

Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...
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