The European Parliament is to set up an inquiry into the Panama Papers which exposed wide scale tax avoidance and financial secrecy by wealthy elites. Molly Scott Cato, spokesperson on tax affairs for the Greens in the European Parliament, says the Green group has been instrumental in establishing this inquiry, having called for this over a week ago.
Last week, in light of the Panama Papers scandal, Molly Scott Cato also launched a petition calling for EU institutions to prosecute banks that let their clients hide their assets in tax havens and do not report suspected European citizens to tax authorities. The petition has been signed by over 425,000 people. Molly said:
“The setting up of an inquiry committee is a Green success story. We have been pressing hard for a proper investigation into the Panama papers scandal and the implications at EU level. An inquiry committee is the most powerful tool available to the European Parliament and can investigate breaches of EU law by member states and check if the Commission acted in accordance with its duties under EU treaties. I am pleased that as MEPs this inquiry will provide us with the necessary resources to expose the actions of wealthy elites and those complicit in supporting them. The extraordinary result of our petition shows the degree to which the citizens of Europe are behind us in our efforts to root out the causes and perpetrators of tax avoidance.”