Dutch Finance Min. must be held accountable for tax avoidance: European Parliament

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament (EP) voted in a resolution calling for more measures against tax evasion and money laundering, following the Pandora Papers. The EP stressed that politicians mentioned in the Pandora Papers, including Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra, must be held accountable for their actions, NU.nl reports.

“These politicians must be held accountable, and Parliament is outraged that top European politicians were involved in shady matters such as tax avoidance,” the EP said. The EP called on the authorities in the countries of mentioned politicians to “open appropriate investigations into illegal acts.”

In addition to Hoekstra, who owned shares in a letterbox firm in the British Virgin Islands between 2009 and 2017, the resolution also mentions Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Pandora Papers exposed the hidden health of many world leaders and billionaires. The list included the names of some 35 current and former world leaders.

The EP also wants European Union countries to investigate every resident mentioned in the Pandora Papers thoroughly. The search for people who benefit from letterbox firms must be intensified. And the blocklist of tax havens needs to be updated and expanded, the EP said. “For example, the British Virgin Islands are not on it, while two-thirds of the shell companies in the Pandora Papers are located there.”