Netherlands culprit in tax evasion by corporations from weak Euroland countries

12 October 2011

Netherlands culprit in tax evasion by corporations from weak Euroland countries

The Netherlands must take some of the blame for tax evasion committed by corporations from weak Euroland countries. That was one of the surprising statements made during a meeting on the fight against corruption in the EU organised by SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. According to a Portuguese MEP, of the twenty biggest Portuguese companies listed on the stock exchange, seventeen are established in the Netherlands. This enables them to avoid paying tax in Portugal, while paying hardly a cent in the Netherlands. The SP has long attempted to put an end to this kind of ‘box number’ firm.

Dennis de JongDuring the meeting, which was attended by representatives of the UN anti-crime bureau, anti-corruption NGO Transparency International, and the European Commission, as well as numerous MEPs, broad agreement emerged that it is of especial importance during a time of crisis that corruption should be tackled. ‘That’s why it’s incomprehensible that in the crisis agreements between Portugal and the EU-IMF-European Central Bank Troika, and between Greece and the Troika, not a word is said about combatting corruption,” says De Jong. “If we don’t see any additional measures taken now, the chances are that economic development will be stymied.”

De Jong welcomed the position adopted by the Commission representative. “Just two weeks ago Commissioner Malmström was not prepared to commit herself to anything more than a first report in 2013. I was pleased to hear now that the Commissioner will be bringing forward proposals this year, especially as regards the identification and recovery of stolen public funds. This is a first step towards a ‘masterplan against corruption’, which I have been urging for some time.”

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