Socialists dared to vote for bid to return tax havens to blacklist

Following Socialist moves to take Jersey, Isle of Man and Uruguay off the ‘tax haven blacklist’, Christian democrats have tabled a bid to put the much-used ‘offshores’ right back where they were.

The challenge, explained CDS-PP MP Cecília Meireles today, is to watch who votes against.

It is just the latest episode in a wrangle that has created a “climate of suspicion”, she told journalists.

“Our objective is very simple: if the government thinks the law needs to be revised, then it should propose a revision. If it thinks it makes sense to remove these three territories and maintain all the others, then it has to explain why”, she said.

The issue has been rumbling across parliamentary benches for weeks now, with Opposition MPs complaining that the government is “hiding information”.

Late this (Monday) afternoon, the PSD accused the government of acting “illegally” – which the government was making every effort at close of business to refute.

Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs Rocha Andrade – one of the MPs at the centre of the embarrassing GALP football freebie scandal during the Euro championships last year – has explained that the Portuguese list of ‘fiscal paradises’ is “the most extensive in Europe” and that this can cause “difficulties” in diplomatic and economic relations”.

Having an “exchange of fiscal information is more important than the presence of a blacklist”, he told MPs.

A bit like the weather, this issue is hotting up – particularly as Rocha Andrade threw in a curved ball at the end:

“The last government promised a series of countries that it would take them off the list, and didn’t”, he told the house.

“We do not think that lying to other countries should be the attitude of a sovereign state”.

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