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February, 201710:57 AM



Panama squirms as EU mulls new tax haven blacklist

Panama squirms as EU mulls new tax haven blacklist

Panama on Thursday insisted it was cleaning up its financial sector after the damaging Panama Papers revelations, as it struggled to avoid inclusion on a forthcoming EU tax haven blacklist.

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03.02.2017 12:29 PM

Panama on Thursday insisted it was cleaning up its financial sector after the damaging Panama Papers revelations, as it struggled to avoid inclusion on a forthcoming EU tax haven blacklist.

"Panama has taken the necessary actions and carried out the reforms" needed to meet international standards on tax information sharing, Economy Minister Dulcidio de la Guardia told a news conference.

His affirmation came a day after the European Union said it was looking at 92 countries for potentially not doing enough to crack down on tax evasion.

The nations included Panama, the United States, Singapore, Canada and Brazil.

EU officials are sending letters to the 92 countries asking them to detail their tax policies for evaluation before defining a final list.

Panama has stressed it is taking steps to improve transparency and traceability in its financial sector. Its economy, which is forecast to grow the fastest of any in Latin America this year, relies on those and other services.

Late last year it notably signed an agreement with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the automatic exchange of tax information.

The Panama Papers revelations last year divulged how many of the world's wealthy -- including politicians, celebrities and some criminals -- stashed assets in offshore companies.

The data, which came from a Panamanian legal firm, Mossack Fonseca, prompted France to put Panama on its 2017 blacklist of tax havens.

The EU is expected to announce its own blacklist at the end of this year.
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