Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, just got a step closer to explaining his role in the Lux Leaks scandal. Speaking after an official visit to Luxembourg, German Member of the European Parliament, Fabio De Masi said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that powerful EU member states like Germany and France are covering aggressive tax competition in the interest of their big corporations and that this competition is embedded in the EU Treaties.”
De Masi, GUE/NGL, shadow rapporteur on European Parliament’s TAXE special committee said the TAXE committee demands publication of the 1997 “Krecké-Report” on tax evasion in Luxembourg – including the chapters on tax rulings. He remarked: “If the Luxembourg finance minister refuses to cooperate, we will simply ask the former Luxembourg finance and prime minister and now president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker to do so.”
“The fight against tax dumping does not target Luxembourg specifically, but the privileges of big multinational corporations. The majority of Luxembourg people are also adversely affected if huge companies do not pay proper taxes.
David Wagner, a member of déi Lénk group in the Luxembourg Parliament on Monday’s meeting between a delegation from the Parliament’s TAXE committee and the Luxembourg government, members of parliament and lobbyists.
Wagner said: “The Luxembourg government continues to block any real clarification of this aggressive tax competition under the pretext of the administrative effort required to publish all tax rulings since 1991.”
De Masi added: “In accordance with a circular letter by the Luxembourg tax administration from 1989, tax rulings must not predominantly serve tax optimisation. The head of the Luxembourg rulings committee could not answer my question as to whether the former rulings complied with this Luxembourg law. At the same time, the publication of relevant documents to clarify this question was refused.”
“In addition, since 1977 an obligation exists for a so-called spontaneous information exchange if tax rulings adversely affect other EU member states. However, Luxembourg’s finance minister underlined that as a financial centre his country is in tax competition with the other member states, which do not exchange this information. Frankly speaking, this means that Luxembourg as well as other EU member states have continuously broken the law.
“If the Luxembourg government refuses to create real transparency, public opinion regarding the upcoming Luxembourg council presidency will be concerned. The same holds true for the indefensible charges against whistle-blower Antoine Deltour and journalist Edouard Perrin. The current protection of whistle-blowers who act against corruption and money laundering is far from sufficient and they need to be better protected if they serve the public interest,” Wagner added.