Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Luxembourg NGO made to withdraw offshore study

(Update Aug 8: the study appears to have disappeared now from the website of the second organisation after the Cercle withdrew it. It is now available on the website of a third organistion.)

A Luxembourg non-governmental organisation, the Cercle de Coopération, has been forced to withdraw a study explaining how their country is a secrecy jurisdiction, and how it causes grave damage to developing countries.

The Cercle has made an extremely important step towards a public debate on tax issues that is long overdue. The study has prompted a furious reaction from various quarterse including, for obvious reasons, Luxembourg's finance industry, represented by the Luxembourg Bankers' Association.

The bankers' attacks, however, fail to address the main issues that the report identifies, but instead focuses on minor technical details -- suggesting the study has correctly analysed the problem caused by Luxembourg. It is extremely important that this debate continue-- and let us not forget that development NGOs have a moral responsibility to point to the negative effects of tax flight on development, under their mandates.

The Cercle has been forced to withdraw the study from their website. However, another organisation still has a link to it here (in German only); and for a simple explanation of what's going on please take a look at this analysis by Jerome Turquey, a Luxembourg consultant in business ethics and reputational risk.

We have long been aware of the poisonous attacks on offshore dissidents in secrecy jurisdictions like Jersey and the Cayman Islands; without having all the facts available on Luxembourg, we can only imagine that this is the same sort of thing.


Anonymous Ruth Picker said...

Amazing how governments dare to repress information they do not like.
"Global Responsibility -Austrian Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid" also posted the study on our website:

Ruth Picker/ Director

12:48 am  

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