Revelations that in June last year over €300 million was held by the Portuguese government in offshore tax havens have prompted the finance ministry to guarantee that it is looking into ways of preventing this kind of embarrassment in future.
Reports on Friday pointed to €133 million applied by treasury debt agency IGCP in Jersey, and a further €171 million held by the FEFSS (Social Security’s financial stabilisation fund) “relating to a share investment in Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc, based in Jordan”.
The news came in a joint communiqué from the finance and social security ministries following leaks in the national press that did not accurately reflect the numbers involved.
In April, Expresso described a total of €148 million in tax havens on the finance ministry’s “black list”.
TSF radio followed the story up, explaining that the debt held by IGCP referred to State rail company Comboios de Portugal.
As Associated Press stressed on Friday, tax evasion has become “a prominent political issue following a leak of documents from a Panama-based law firm last month”.
Thus news that the government is at it as well is something that has to be tackled head-on.
ABC adds that the bonds held in “a Jersey-based company” matured last July – thus their existence now is somewhat academic.
But the upshot of the story is that “the government is studying the adoption of new procedures ensuring no public institutions have investments in offshore tax havens”.