European Council meeting (22 May 2013) - tax fraud and tax havens:
- MEPs debate
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 21/05/2013 First transmission: 21/05/2013
Ahead of the European Council tomorrow, Parliament called on member states to take urgent action to step up the fight against tax havens and improve tax collection in a debate with the Irish Presidency and the Commission. MEPs set out their priorities for the summit, which is also expected to discuss progress towards a real EU monetary union and better investment in energy infrastructure.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg
||SOUNDBITE (French) Joseph DAUL (EPP, FR): "Energy is no longer a matter of national champions. It's part and parcel of our single market. More than ever we need economies of scale and it's only by working more together that we will get them. We need to make progress in research and development, to build the necessary infrastructure, and only together we can negotiate with third parties for bulk orders and decrease the prize."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Joseph DAUL (EPP, FR): "Tax evasion is a matter that concerns all EU members. We have free movement of people, good, services and capital and all countries are suffering in terms of losses of tax revenues, that's why we need more exchange of fiscal information in between EU members".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "Recession hurts but austerity kills. Austerity is killing jobs, social justice and it's destroying the support for the European project".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "There is a major danger out there. Even if we get growth, we might end up having growth without jobs; that's the challenge we face. Hopefully we'll get some growth back but it needs to be accompanied by jobs".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "Isn't it a shame that even at the ECOFIN Council it is said: 'we have to ask the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to supply us with the names and details regarding EU citizens on the offshore leaks'. This is the obligation of the governments of Europe! We need investigative journalists to get the money back, it is very very sad".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE): "What we need is more than words, we need action. My proposal is that maybe they can cancel the European Council of tomorrow and hold a real ECOFIN meeting of the ministers of finance. So that they can decide on concrete legislation on a blacklist of tax havens in Europe, concrete legislation on a corporate common tax base, what we still don't have in Europe, and concrete legislation on tax evasion. Because let's be honest, the conclusions of tomorrow we have taken them already tow times in the European Council, in 2010 and in 2012. We repeat them every time. So better than again conclusions, conclusions I think there are other things to tackle by the ECOFIN and the ministers of finance in a concrete way".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Daniel COHN-BENDIT (Greens-EFA, FR): "If you want to focus on nuclear energy, coal and shale gas to address the energy question you are investing in the past. You can invest billions in energy which in the long run it will cost an awful lot more to repair what it has destroyed, that's shale gas; it won't provide any benefit for the European citizen. We have to make a simple point: energy has to be accessible to all, and the energy precariousness for the poorest costumers is a real problem athat has to be solved. Solving that without solving the essential question which is the energy efficiency is not the right approach. Reduction of consumption and renewable energies is where the future of Europe lies".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin CALLANAN (ECR, UK): "Tackling tax evasion needs a globally coordinated approach to increase transparency and reporting and agree on new standards for information exchange. I hope that leaders tomorrow make more progress than finance ministers made last week".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel FARAGE (EFD, UK): "Before we declare our virtues let's look a little bit closer to home. I hope tax payers all over Europe listen to this. If we look at the officials that work for the European Commission and work for the European Parliament, the highest category are people that earn a net income pay of just over a 100 000 pounds a year, and yet, under EU rules, they pay tax of 12%. It's tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale and Mr Barroso, I would say to you: how can that be deemed to be fair?"
||SOUNDBITE (German) Jürgen KLUTE (GUE, DE): "For tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering, I hope that these new rules will help us close those loopholes".
||Cutaways (4 shots)