EU keeps Panama on its list of tax havens, withdraws Anguilla, Dominica and Seychelles
Anguilla, Dominica and Seychelles were removed by the European Union from its list of tax havens.
The European Union (EU) removed Anguilla, Dominica and the Seychelles from its black list of tax havens on Tuesday, just two days after the publication of the Pandora Papers on tax evasion practices.
The decision, which shocked organizations such as Oxfam, was made by EU finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday.
The Dutch minister Wopke Hoekstra, who appears in these leaked documents for having invested in a company based in the British Virgin Islands, was absent from her.
Currently, the EU blacklist is limited to American Samoa, the Fiji Islands, Guam, Palau, Panama , Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.
This European instrument, conceived to combat tax evasion by multinationals and large fortunes, was created in December 2017 after numerous scandals, such as "Panama Papers" or "LuxLeaks".
Sanctions against the included countries can lead to the freezing of European funds.
The list "should penalize tax havens. Instead, it lets them get away with it," said Chiara Putaturo, an expert in European taxation at Oxfam, quoted in a statement.
"The decision to withdraw Anguilla, the last jurisdiction with a 0% tax rate, and the Seychelles, which are at the center of the latest tax scandal, makes the EU blacklist a joke," he added.
The Pandora Papers investigation, published on Sunday with contributions from 600 international journalists, established links between societies in tax havens and 336 high-level politicians.
Of the nearly 1,000 companies revealed, two-thirds were in the British Virgin Islands, but they were also detected in the Seychelles.
By contrast, Turkey, accused of not respecting international rules for the automatic exchange of tax information, was not included in the black list despite threats from Brussels in recent months.