Press Review: Malta and the Panama Papers
THE PARLIAMENT MAGAZINE
Panama Papers: MEPs travel to Malta, by Martin Banks
"Parliament's committee of inquiry into the Panama Papers scandal has this week sent an MEP delegation to Malta.
Members from Parliament's committee of inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA) were in the country on Monday for the second of four fact-finding missions focusing on tax havens.
Further comment came from Fabio De Masi, a Vice-Chair of the committee, who said, "With a corporate tax rate of just five per cent and an almost 100 per cent tax refund for shareholders, Malta has one of the most lenient corporate tax regimes in the EU, which in turn facilitates the laundering of criminal money.
"In the past, Malta has lobbied the Council against efforts for more corporate transparency and against stricter anti-money laundering rules. In a country where political elites - from conservatives to the social democrats - have featured so prominently in the Panama Papers.
"The Maltese government should expect tough questioning from the public on money laundering and tax dodging during the current EU Presidency," De Masi said..."
The full-text article is available online at The Parliament Magazine's homepage.
FTSE Global Markets
ECOFINs president rejects MEPs criticism of Malta as tax haven
"MEPs from the Parliaments Economics Committee have questioned Maltas commitment to fighting tax avoidance and money laundering as it takes the helm of the European Union during a critical year in the blocs ongoing fight against tax avoidance.
Pierkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR, FL) asked Minister Scicluna whether his country could promote tax reforms during its presidency when a Maltese cabinet minister and the Prime Ministers Chief of Staff had been named in the Panama Papers. Her question was echoed by MEPs across the political spectrum including Fabio de Masi (Gue, DE) and Petr Jezek (ALDE, CZ) who asked whether the countrys anti-money laundering status didnt tarnish its presidency of the Council..."
The full-text article is to be found on the FTSE-webpage.
Scicluna fends off questions on Maltas tax rebate system from MEPs, by Matthew Vella
"Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna had to defend Maltas tax imputation system, as MEPs in the European Parliaments committee for economic affairs questioned the countrys suitability to tackle anti-money laundering and taxation laws.
These statements are unfair, because they misunderstand the Maltese system, Scicluna told MEPs like Sven Giegold (Greens) and Fabio de Masi (European left), who took Malta to task over its tax imputation system.
German MEP Fabio De Masi also saud that Malta had backtracked on a proposal to publicise the ultimate beneficiary owners of trusts..."
The full-text article is to be found on the webpage of Malta Today.
TIMES OF MALTA
Calling Malta a tax haven is a 'caricature' - Scicluna to MEPs, by Bertrand Borg
"New FIAU director to be announced shortly, minister says
Replying to a question by United European Left (GUE) MEP Fabio de Masi, Prof. Scicluna said that Maltese tax authorities had recently concluded investigations into Swiss Leaks revelations and identified just over 100 cases stemming from Panama Papers revelations. The first 33 investigations are ongoing, he said...."
The full-text article is to be found on the webpage of Times of Malta.