Tax evasion: ‚The Commission has received a poisoned chalice‘

S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda expressed disappointment following EU finances ministers‘ weak conclusions on tax evasion.

Said Hannes Swoboda:“Today EU finance ministers have given the Commission a poisoned chalice. They have authorised the European Commission to open negotiations with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino on the taxation of savings income even though two member states have not given a clear signal they will apply the same rules on banking secrecy.

„This will weaken the Commission’s negotiating position. It is not enough to make solemn declarations on fighting tax evasion while drawing back every time real action is needed.

„This not only relates to fairness and creating the resources to stimulate economic growth but is also a sign to citizens that politics is not dominated by market forces and by those who want to cheat governments and citizens by misusing banking secrecy.


„Politicians must show that they are able to defend the interests of the people against a small lobby group of banks, lawyers and rich clients.

„We urge EU heads of state and governments who meet next Wednesday in Brussels to adopt an ambitious strategy to fight tax evasion, avoidance and havens.

„A large majority of our citizens expect the European Union to show leadership in this area on the world stage.“