Left tried to hijack Panama report to harm honest taxpayers and EU economy

"The fight against tax evasion, tax crime and tax avoidance must be one of the EU's key economic tasks. They harm fair competition, undermine the confidence of citizens and have a serious impact on tax and fiscal policies. The EPP Group is fully committed to this effort," said the EPP Group's Luděk Niedermayer, responsible for the report which concludes 18 months of work by the Panama Papers Inquiry Committee.

The EPP Group criticised Socialists, Greens and Communists for trying to hijack the final recommendations of the inquiry committee for their ideological slogans, instead of focusing on the fight against tax evasion and money laundering.

"Instead of functional proposals or solutions, such slogans undermine the credibility of the report and jeopardise a strong parliamentary position vis-à-vis those Member States that for many years have hampered the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance," said Niedermayer and Rosati.

"The Socialists' call to eliminate tax competition and to introduce minimum taxes will lead to higher taxes for everybody and create burdens for responsible and honest taxpayers. We are glad the plenary outvoted most of the proposals that can harm honest taxpayers and the EU economy,” they underlined.

Niedermayer explained that the EPP Group does not want to eliminate fair and transparent tax competition. "We want to harmonise the tax base in Europe, but not the tax rates," he pointed out.

Rosati criticised the left side of the Parliament wanting “to treat European citizens and European companies as potential criminals" with their demand of forcing everyone to prove that they have paid taxes. "International cooperation is a very important part of this agenda. First we should encourage non-cooperative countries to change their behaviour. Heavy sanctions are only the second best solution," he said.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

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