Thursday, October 23, 2008

Juncker's TV courage

Luxembourg has a nasty little tax haven racket running in the centre of Europe. Now Arlette Chabot, information director for French TV station France 2, has written - perhaps was forced to write - a craven apology to the Luxemourg Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, after her station had the temerity to suggest that not all is well in the little tax haven state.

How about this for an apology?

"Our report was facile; even in bad taste. I beg you not to consider our report as a new example of French arrogance, but rather as a professional lapse . . . in light of your availability, and your courage in the face of journalists' questions, I must apologise."

Poor Mr. Juncker, having to answer questions in front of journalists. See the original report, and the letter, here. Not so long ago we blogged Juncker's weasel words, highlighting his eagerness to fight against efforts to increase transparency in Europe.

"I look forward to many years of fascinating and fundamental discussions."

At the time, we said this:

"Shame on Mr. Juncker. This is perhaps the main tactic - delay - that the secrecy jurisdictions and purveyors of global crime and corruption will wield in their fight against transparency and in their efforts to continue undermining the rights of fellow sovereign nation states to decide their own tax affairs."

This time, we will just say this: Shame on you, Arlette Chabot, or whoever put you up to it.

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