Panama Papers Leak has Left Europe Reeling

While may be just a handful was aware of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca before the weekend fewer perhaps considered Panama a key global financial center.

However the world’s financial and political leaders have been rocked by disclosures of offshore funds, tax evasion and money laundering thanks to a massive leak of some 11 million documents.

Resulting in some very high-profile casualties, the shockwaves from the Panama Papers data-dump are still being felt across Europe. Here is a look at some of them.

UK

For the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Panama Papers revealed that his late father, Ian, had used Mossack Fonseca to shield his investment fund from U.K. taxes even as he continues to fight an increasingly bitter battle over the U.K.’s future in the European Union.

The prime minister and his family do not benefit from any offshore funds, a spokesperson for Cameron insisted.

Cameron wrote to Herman van Rompuy, president of the European Council, asking him to stop beneficiaries of trusts from being named during EU moves to clamp down on tax evasion – the Financial Times revealed on Thursday.

France

According to Le Monde newspaper,  the Panama Papers has named former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He has been identified as one of the directors of Leyne, Strauss-Kahn and Partners (LSK).

Asset Management Luxembourg (AAML), which had started operations in 2007 under different management before being bought in 2013 by LSK, helped clients set up in tax havens, Le Monde reported.

Strauss-Kahn was quoted in Le Monde as saying that he was not involved in the daily management of the company and even less in AAML. Also named in the Panama Papers as using offshore funds were close friends and family members of right-wing anti-immigration party National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen, Le Monde also reported.

Switzerland

A criminal inquiry has been announced in Geneva by the prosecutor in connection with the Panama Papers. Several of the city’s lawyers and financial institutions have been named in the papers charged with creation of offshore funds, Reuters reported. A raid by Swiss police followed news of the investigation at the headquarters of the European soccer body UEFA. The authorities said that the raids were conducted to gather information on a television rights deal reported in the Panama Papers. Trhe deal was reportedly signed by its then head Gianni Infantino who is now head of global soccer’s FIFA.

Austria

Reuters reported that following revelations in the Panama Papers that the lender was connected to offshore companies via Liechtenstein, the chief executive of Austrian bank Hypo Landesbank Vorarlberg has stepped down.

Investigations into whether Austrian banks took sufficient steps to prevent money laundering have been launched by Austrian authorities.

Iceland

A day after Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson quit as prime minister following revelations in the Panama Papers, Iceland’s government Wednesday named a new prime minister and called for early elections in the autumn, Reuters reported.

(Source:www.cnbc.com)



Categories: Geopolitics, Uncategorized

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