Corruption and money laundering

EU leading tax crackdown

 

Ahead of tomorrow’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament has backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.

 

Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MP for London, said:

 

“It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.”

 

“The public were rightly outraged by the recent allegations from a former Google executive turned whistleblower that the internet giant has cheated UK taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of pounds by diverting British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven.”

 

EU and states should root out corruption

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a European Parliament call for much tougher EU action on corruption. Transparency International gives poor ratings to many EU states.

The European Commission recently produced a package of measures to target corruption. These included a reporting mechanism whereby the level of corruption in each EU member state would be assessed every two years.

Sarah Ludford said:

Sarah questions the President of the European Commission on corruption and the G8 summit

Sarah Ludford (ALDE). - I will stick to the topic. The Commission yesterday adopted a strong package of reports and measures on fighting the corruption that is costing the EU EUR 120 billion per annum - roughly equivalent to the total EU budget - but eight Member States score less than five out of ten on the Transparency International index. The Commission says implementation of anti-corruption instruments is unsatisfactory.

EU must make corruption fight a top priority

On International Anti-Corruption Day Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has urged EU member states including the UK to do much more to tackle bribery and graft. She said:

"I am pleased to say that since I asked parliamentary questions 2 years ago all EU member states have finally ratified the United Nations Convention on Corruption. But there is far from being a comprehensive EU anti-corruption policy."

"But as we know it is not only in the world outside Europe that corruption exists. In both existing Member States as well as candidate countries it is shockingly widespread and pervasive. Greece Bulgaria and Romania are only joint 71st least corrupt country on the Transparency International Index."

Money laundering

Mr President one of the biggest gaps in the anti-money laundering regime has been that it only applied to financial institutions. As successive international reports have made clear lawyers and other professionals become vulnerable to exploitation as unwitting accomplices in the washing of dirty money from criminals and terrorists as banks tighten up which I am glad to say they are at last having to do.

Tory MEP Villiers guilty of hypocrisy""

Baroness Sarah Ludford Liberal group spokeswoman on justice and home affairs has charged Tory MEP Theresa Villiers with hypocrisy for complaining about delay in finalising the EU money-laundering Directive*.

Baroness Ludford who is Liberal Democrat MEP for London said:

"It is Ms Villiers' own conservative group in the European Parliament in support of their colleague Mr Lehne who bear the major responsibility for holding up agreement for the last six months on effective new European rules to combat the proceeds of crime or terrorism ."

EU Money Laundering Rules - Tough Implementation Needed

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP Liberal group spokesperson on justice & home affairs has urged EU member states to adopt a common sense interpretation of the rules against money laundering when implementing the new EU Directive into national law especially on requiring lawyers to report suspicious transactions by their clients.

"It will be argued by some that the newly-agreed Directive only requires lawyers to report on their clients' involvement in money laundering if they know that is the purpose of the transactions they are asked to advise on. But this would of course make a nonsense of the fight against the 'washing' of dirty money".

LibDems: 'Tories and Labour helping weaken fight against money-laundering'

Baroness Sarah Ludford Liberal Democrat MEP for London has called on Conservative and Labour MEPs to disown and block the attempts of their European political groups to weaken proposed EU measures to fight money laundering and to join Liberal Democrats in supporting tough action.

"It is incredible in the current climate that instead of backing a strengthened effort to track illicit funds of criminals and terrorists the groups of right and left are lobbying to increase exemption for lawyers and accountants from reporting suspicious transactions.

European Liberal Democrats secure tough money-laundering rules

Baroness Sarah Ludford Liberal Democrat MEP for London and spokesperson for the European Liberal Democrats on justice and home affairs has welcomed the European Parliament's support for tough and effective action against money-laundering by criminals in preference to amendments which would have weakened or undermined the necessary rules.

On behalf of the ELDR group Sarah Ludford argued that the 'common position' of the Council supported fully by the Commission was a good compromise. The Liberal Democrat view was followed in the vote by Euro-MPs from other groups who had originally been expected to support the Conservative draftsman Mr Lehne whose amendments therefore did not get the necessary 314 votes to overturn the common position. She said:

Tough Action needed on money-laundering

Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat MEP for London and spokesperson for the European Liberal Democrats on justice and home affairs is calling for the European Parliament to unite with the Commission and Council of Ministers in taking tough action against money laundering and not weaken or undermine the necessary rules.

Speaking in Strasbourg ahead of a vote tomorrow in the report by Christian Democrat/ Conservative Klaus-Heiner Lehne she said;

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