January 16th, 2013
Over the last few months, an aid program (read: bailout) for Cyprus’ banks put together by EU rescuers has met mounting resistance among Europeans. The reason? Money laundering... and the alleged ties of Russian oligarchs to Cyprus’ banks.
There does seem to be a questionable relationship there. Last fall, Der Spiegel reported on Germany's Federal Intelligence Service’s (BND) secret report on money laundering in Cyprus. According to Der Spiegel, the report finds that the people who would benefit most from a European bailout of Cyprus banks are Russian oligarchs, mafiosi, and businesspeople who have parked illegal earnings in the small...
August 8th, 2012
An old industrial dynasty from the German Ruhr region might play a role in blasting the envisaged transparency regulations for the extractive industry proposed by the EU commission. It is one of those typical German Mittelstand (SME) family-owned businesses, which was founded in 1842 by Wilhelm Grillo, and grew into an industrial giant, the Grillo-Werke AG. The core competence on zinc, the company focuses on zinc metallurgy and sulphur chemistry, has an estimated annual turnover of around 600 million Euro, around 1600 employees and is headed by Ulrich Grillo.
May 31st, 2012
The Tax Justice Network has blogged repeatedly on the thoroughly toxic and dangerous tax deals that Switzerland has signed with Germany and the UK and others and is seeking to expand as a model to other countries. We have demonstrated on several occasions that the deals - which are supposed to apply withholding taxes on secret assets, in exchange for continued anonymity - are all but worthless, from a technical point of view (that is, they are absolutely riddled with loopholes, and will raise only a fraction of the promised sums; we have sent our detailed analysis to tax...
May 30th, 2012
Yesterday Switzerland’s parliament approved a much-anticipated tax information exchange agreement with Germany. The country has made similar agreements with Britain and Austria and is already in talks with Italy to make a similar deal.
Under the agreement, Swiss banks will make anonymous advance payments to German tax authorities for undeclared money. Germany stands to make big gains: lawmakers already plan to levy a retroactive tax of 21 to 41 percent on their citizens with undeclared accounts. With holdings of an estimated 222 billion euros ($291.8 billion) in Swiss accounts, about 60 percent of which are undeclared, German citizens can expect...