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Panamá presentará queja ante la Comisión Europea

The commission has listed Panama as a tax haven.

By Roberto González Jiménez

La Prensa

26 jun 2015

Panama yesterday issued a statement criticizing the decision of the European Commission (EC) placing the country on a blacklist of tax havens.

In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government said it: “categorically rejects the position taken by the European Commission and calls for the removal of our country from the list of non-cooperative countries, which was not based on an objective assessment.”

In addition, the Foreign Ministry will send a formal communication to the EC to express its dissatisfaction and will convene a meeting with the diplomatic representatives of the European countries in Panama for the same purpose, confirmed Gian Castillero, an advisor to the Foreign Ministry.

Panama noted it has signed agreements to avoid double taxation and facilitate the exchange of tax information with several European countries, a fact that was seemingly ignored by the EC.

Spain has publicly supported the position of Panama, saying it does not consider it to be a tax haven.

“The European Commission said that Spain is one of the European countries that consider Panama as a tax haven. It is incorrect information and we hope that the European Commission rectifies it soon,” said a statement prepared by the Spanish diplomatic office.

A similar situation exists with Italy, a country with which Panama has already signed a tax agreement that will become official once that country approves it.

The other nine countries that Panama has tax agreements with are Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Portugal. Portugal is another country that has failed to remove Panama from its list of tax havens despite the existence of the treaty.

“For a country like Panama, which has made major efforts in cooperating on tax matters and adopted international standards, it is annoying to appear on a list like this, especially because it is not a product of any analysis,” said Castillero.

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