Launch of support website for Antoine Deltour, tax avoidance whistleblower.
Paris, 18 December 2014 – As Antoine Deltour, whistleblower behind the “Luxleaks” scandal concerning the tax avoidance of hundreds of multinationals, is being prosecuted by the Luxemburg judiciary for “violation of business secrets”, the Tax and Judicial Havens Platform calls upon citizens to show their support on a new website created to that purpose, and asks MEPs to finally commit to supporting a request for a committee investigation into secret deals made with the Grand Duchy.
Antoine Deltour, allegedly one of the leakers of secret deals, also known as Luxleaks, between consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers on behalf of 340 multinational companies and the Luxemburg administration, was charged last Friday by the Luxemburg judiciary for “violation of business secrets”.
The Tax and Judicial Havens Platform wishes to highlight the startling paradox whereby some businesses can evade tax with impunity, thus depriving both rich and developing countries of hundreds of millions of euro in tax income, while those denouncing them are liable to 5 years’ imprisonment in Luxemburg with no right to any real protection.
“By revealing the scale of the tax avoidance industry in Luxemburg, Antoine Deltour has rendered the European community a huge service; yet he is the one who is incriminated! When laws are that much out of kilter, not only ethically but logically, it’s time to change them”, protests Lucie Watrinet, Advocacy Officer with CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Coordinator of the Tax and Judicial Havens Platform.
In France protection for whistleblowers is still very low, despite the fact that without them many scandals would never have come to light, for example the HSBC affair with Hervé Falciani and the UBS France affair with Stéphanie Gibaud.
“All we can hope for is for this affair to bring progress on two fronts: on the one hand, a push for greater tax harmonisation in Europe and on the other, protection for whistleblowers. But not at Antoine Deltour’s expense!” states Daniel Lebègue, President of Transparency International France.
The Tax and Judicial Havens Platform would like to highlight the fact that it is very difficult to lodge a request for a parliamentary commission of inquiry into these secret deals, due to a lack of support from MEPs who won’t commit to shedding light on this affair and to finally tackling tax evasion instead of whistleblowers.
The Tax and Judicial Havens Platform calls upon political, trade-union and civil society organisations and to citizens as a whole to show their support to Antoine Deltour on the newly-created website.
Karine Appy | CCFD-Terre Solidaire | 06 66 12 33 02
Julian Nevo | Transparency International France | 01 84 16 95 65
Members of the Tax and Judicial Havens Platform:
Friends of the Earth – Anticor – Attac France – CADTM France (Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt) – CCFD-Terre Solidaire (Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development – Terre Solitaire) – CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labour) – CGT (General Confederation of Labour) – CRID ( Research and Information Centre for Development) – Droit pour la justice (Law in the Service of Justice) – Observatoire citoyen pour la transparence Financière Internationale (Citizens’ Observatory for International Financial Transparency) – Oxfam France – Justice et Paix (Justice and Peace) – Réseau Foi et Justice Afrique Europe (Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network) – Secours catholique Caritas France (Catholic Relief Services Caritas France) – Sherpa – Survie (Survival) – Syndicat de la magistrature (Magistrates’ Trade Union) – Solidaires Finances Publiques (Solidarity Public Finance) – Transparency International France (www.stopparadisfiscaux.fr)