S&D nominates Alfred Sant on Panama Papers committee

Sant is substitute member on Panama Papers committee, while MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa will be full voting members

Labour MEP Alfred Sant
Labour MEP Alfred Sant

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) have nominated Maltese MEP Alfred Sant as a substitute member on the European Parliament’s Panama papers committee.

This role is similar to that Sant had on the TAXE 1 and TAXE 2 committees regarding the Luxleaks scandal.

A substitute member on an EP committee has all the facilities of a full member but does not get to vote.

“This gets around the image problem for the island of having a Maltese MEP who when defending Malta’s interests, ends up in a minority of one or two on most taxation issues, particularly the proposal for tax harmonisation across all EU member states, which is not beneficial to Malta and Gozo.

“From the beginning I wanted to be a substitute member on these committees for technical reasons. A substitute member has the same rights as regular members and will be posted and involved on all developments, from beginning till the end,” Sant said

As happened with the committees on the Luxleaks scandal TAXE 1 and TAXE 2, Sant will follow the analysis of how tax scandals arose and the measures being proposed to combat them.

“This goes beyond narrow issues of Malta-based, partisan give-and-take, or whether ‘shell’ companies prevail in Malta and elsewhere.

“Issues that are vital to the financial services industry and to the need for Malta to preserve her autonomy in tax policy issues will no doubt again be raised. It is crucial that we know about how these issues are developing and to be able to voice a reasonable case against solutions that go against our national interest, such as the harmonisation of tax systems that will be consistently proposed. This should be done while making it clear that we are in favour of transparency in taxation matters and stand against all forms of tax evasion,” the former prime minister said.

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