Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Jorg Haider, Libyan loot, and Liechtenstein

This time it's the late Austrian leader Jorg Haider. As Der Spiegel reports:

Investigators have found shell companies in Liechtenstein which apparently belonged to the late right-wing populist politician Jörg Haider. The accounts reportedly have 5 million euros in them, a fraction of the 45 million they originally contained. There are suggestions the cash could have come from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

And, as noted on the Financial Task Force blog:

"The revelation has sparked interest in Austria to reform party donations laws, which require parties to “report donations higher than 7,260 Euros to the Federal Audit Office (RH) – but do not face consequences if they fail to do so.” But I’m not sure Austrians are asking the right question.

Strengthening consequences of this legislation would not address the root problem—the financial secrecy enabled by Liechtenstein. Such a law would not prevent the next Haider from setting up shell accounts and accepting political contributions from the next Qaddafi. Or rather, at the rate Qaddafi is going, he could be the corrupt contributor all over again."

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