Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Unione Europea ed i passaporti di oro, venduti sottobanco. Più il resto.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-04-06.

Juncker Espresso 5 novembre 2014__

Nulla più del crimine disonesto ama ammantarsi di legalità e giustizia.

Il denaro esercita un richiamo sfacciato ed imperioso ed alla fine chi vi cede ne diventa schiavo. Non ne sarà mai sazio.

L’ingordigia si ingigantisce quasi senza fine, fino ad arrivare al punto di rottura.

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«Cyprus and Malta have made billions of euros from the passport industry.»

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«They have attracted hundreds of wealthy Russians, many of whom were Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – people who posed a high risk of money laundering.»

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«Cyprus sold an EU passport to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska who is currently under US sanctions for “malign activities”»

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«It also offered one to Viktor Vekselberg, another Russian tycoon, who is under US sanctions, but who owns a significant part of Cyprus’ largest bank, the Bank of Cyprus.»

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«Malta sold passports to Alexey Marey, the former CEO of Alfa Bank Russia, the country’s largest private lender; Alexey De-Monderik, a co-founder of Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab; and Alexander Mechatin, the CEO of Beluga Group, Russia’s largest private spirits company.»

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«The schemes have also attracted wealthy Middle Eastern buyers.»

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«The two member states, the only ones which sell their nationality, as well as the 18 others who sell residency permits, were urged to end the practice»

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«The golden passport and visa schemes all too-often acted as “a gateway for money laundering and organised crime” into the EU financial system»

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«Malta and Cyprus have already sold about 6,000 national and EU passports in “schemes … that potentially pose a high risk to the integrity” of European financial due diligence»

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«these schemes may serve Russian citizens included in the sanctions list adopted after the illegal annexation of Crimea [from Ukraine] by Russia … as a means to avoid EU sanctions,»

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«Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and the Netherlands played host to “deplorable cases of money laundering” which showed “complete lack of responsibility”»

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«Denmark’s largest lender, Danske Bank, admitted last year that it handled some €200bn of “suspicious” transactions emanating mostly from Russia in the biggest case of its type in EU history.»

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«other crimes in the EU amounted to €110bn a year. »

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Il commercio dei passaporti, il riciclaggio di denaro sporco, ed tutte le altre manifestazioni di una vera e propria criminalità organizzata hanno assunto nell’Unione Europea dimensioni impressionanti: il giro di affari della criminalità supera ampiamente il budget europeo.

«mille miliardi di euro all’anno, tra elusione ed evasione fiscale»

Nessuno venga a dirci che la dirigenza europea ed il corpo burocratico ne fossero all’oscuro.

Significativo è questo titolo, fatto dall’Espresso, la cui dottrina liberal socialista è fuori discussione.

Così Jean-Claude Juncker ha ucciso il sogno dell’’Europa

«Favori giganteschi alle multinazionali. Aiuti ai miliardari. E beffe ai cittadini. Ecco come il numero uno della Commissione ha scatenato il populismo.

Una voragine nei conti dei 28 Paesi dell’Unione europea: mille miliardi di euro all’anno, tra elusione ed evasione fiscale. Multinazionali che non pagano le imposte e smistano decine di miliardi di dollari dei loro profitti, accantonati grazie a operazioni finanziarie privilegiate in Lussemburgo, verso altri paradisi rigorosamente “tax free”. Stati membri dell’Unione che si fanno concorrenza sleale sulle tasse. È disastroso il bilancio che sta lasciando Jean-Claude Juncker, presidente della Commissione europea, nonché ex padre-padrone del Granducato, mentre imbocca l’ultimo anno del suo mandato, in scadenza dopo le elezioni del 2019: il suo viale del tramonto. Ormai ogni giorno il numero uno della Ue deve incrociare i ferri con populisti e sovranisti, pronti a sfidare regole, limiti e vincoli europei. In Italia ad attaccarlo è soprattutto Matteo Salvini, con un avvertimento: «Pensi al suo paradiso fiscale in Lussemburgo». Dove Juncker è stato presidente del Consiglio dal 1995 al 2013 e, già prima, più volte ministro delle Finanze, esordendo con il primo incarico politico nel 1982, ad appena 28 anni. Ed è proprio il Lussemburgo il vero nodo del caso Juncker, di cui ora approfittano i nemici dell’Europa. Il nodo di un paese fondatore della Ue che spinge i ricchissimi a eludere le tasse. ….»

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Pensiamoci bene sopra.

«mille miliardi di euro all’anno, tra elusione ed evasione fiscale»

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Eu Observer. 2019-02-28. Golden EU passports more risky than indicated

The EU substantially watered down its recent warning on golden passport schemes, an investigation has shown.

The European Commission published a report on 23 January on the “security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption” risks associated with the schemes.

But it left out tougher provisions contained in an earlier draft, seen by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a club of investigative journalists.

This October 2018 draft had proposed “member states should not accept investor scheme applications from persons listed on UN and EU sanctions lists.”

But this was cut from the published text.

The EU commission report also called for “clarity in procedures and in responsibilities” of private firms involved in passport sales to avoid conflict of interest.

But it redacted detailed recommendations on how to do it.

“Intermediaries involved in the handling of applications should not have any decision-making power or screening duties, tasks which should be reserved for government authorities,” the October draft had said.

“They should make publicly available information about those intermediaries and the procedure for selecting them,” the draft had also said.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta are the only member states that sell EU passports, while several others have golden residency schemes.

The sales are governed by national law, but the October draft indicated that commission lawyers were looking into whether EU legislation could get a hook into the practice.

“Whether such legislation and practice, which permit third country nationals to obtain national citizenship, and hence citizenship of the [European] Union, without requiring any genuine connection to the country, are compatible with Union law is being questioned,” the draft said, according to the OCCRP.

Cyprus and Malta have made billions of euros from the passport industry.

They have attracted hundreds of wealthy Russians, many of whom were Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – people who posed a high risk of money laundering.

Cyprus sold an EU passport to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska who is currently under US sanctions for “malign activities”.

It also offered one to Viktor Vekselberg, another Russian tycoon, who is under US sanctions, but who owns a significant part of Cyprus’ largest bank, the Bank of Cyprus.

Malta sold passports to Alexey Marey, the former CEO of Alfa Bank Russia, the country’s largest private lender; Alexey De-Monderik, a co-founder of Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab; and Alexander Mechatin, the CEO of Beluga Group, Russia’s largest private spirits company.

The schemes have also attracted wealthy Middle Eastern buyers.

Cyprus sold an EU passport to Rami Makhlouf, a senior member of the Syrian regime, in 2010.

It later rescinded his citizenship when the regime began to massacre its own people in the Syrian war.

Malta also sold 62 EU passports to two billionaire Saudi Arabian families – the Al-Muhaidibs and Al-Agils – in 2018, according to its official gazette.

Bulgaria was less successful, however.

Its justice ministry said in January it had failed to attract enough buyers and would fold its scheme, leaving Cyprus and Malta on their own.

Golden EU passports offer the prospect of free movement of people and their money in the 28 member states, as well as visa-free travel to 160 countries worldwide, including the US.

But Malta’s relations with foreign PEPs ended in tragedy when a car bomb killed Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist, in October 2017.

She had alleged that top people in the Maltese government had taken kick-backs from passport sales to Azerbaijan prior to her murder, in a case which remains unsolved.

PEPs also harmed Cyprus’ image, when it emerged that a Russian used a Cypriot firm to fund a far-right party in France and that Ukrainians used a Cypriot bank to pay Paul Manafort, a US lobbyist on trial for Russia-collusion in the 2016 US election.

For Cypriot authorities, neither its passport sales nor its bank probity were at fault, however.

For Maltese leader Joseph Muscat, Caruana Galizia’s corruption allegations were also little more than “dubious” social media “gossip”.

“I’m in a quite horrible situation of having to criticise someone who was killed brutally,” Muscat told British broadcaster the BBC in an interview in January 2018.

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Eu Observer. 2019-03-28. Malta and Cyprus EU passport sales under fire

Malta and Cyprus should end their golden passport schemes, MEPs have said, while sounding an EU-wide alert on Russian money laundering.

The two member states, the only ones which sell their nationality, as well as the 18 others who sell residency permits, were urged to end the practice by MEPs in a plenary vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday (26 March).

The economic benefits of the schemes “do not offset the serious security, money laundering, and tax evasion risks they present” the European Parliament (EP) report said.

Inflows of criminal money served to “weaken” EU “democracies” and “institutions”, it warned.

The EU should also create a joint financial police to go after cross-border money laundering and clamp down on tax avoidance, the wide-ranging proposals added.

The golden passport and visa schemes all too-often acted as “a gateway for money laundering and organised crime” into the EU financial system, Markus Ferber, a German centre-right deputy, who helped draft the recommendations, said.

EU states are not bound to take the ideas forward – and recently diluted related ones from the European Commission.

But the EP report bore the weight of one year of research by a special committee set up in times of mass-scale leaks on financial fraud, bank scandals of vast proportions, and murders of journalists who tried to expose them.

Malta and Cyprus have already sold about 6,000 national and EU passports in “schemes … that potentially pose a high risk to the integrity” of European financial due diligence, the MEPs said.

Both of these, as well as several of the golden residency schemes, “have been used profusely by Russian citizens and by citizens from countries under Russian influence,” they added.

The risk of money-laundering aside, “these schemes may serve Russian citizens included in the sanctions list adopted after the illegal annexation of Crimea [from Ukraine] by Russia … as a means to avoid EU sanctions,” they also said.

Malta looked especially worrying, the MEPs found, because it failed to stop money-laundering by Azerbaijan and Russia in the now-defunct Pilatus Bank and because senior Maltese officials were connected to a shady energy project.

The EP also “noted” that Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who wrote about the issues, was murdered in 2017 in a crime which remains unsolved.

For their part, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and the Netherlands played host to “deplorable cases of money laundering” which showed “complete lack of responsibility”, the MEPs’ findings added.

Denmark’s largest lender, Danske Bank, admitted last year that it handled some €200bn of “suspicious” transactions emanating mostly from Russia in the biggest case of its type in EU history.

It remains to be seen if it will lead to criminal convictions.

But with no joint EU financial watchdog, the European Banking Authority (EBA), an EU agency now moving out of London due to Brexit, is the only European body with a mandate to put pressure on national regulators.

The MEPs highlighted that the “various recent cases of money laundering within the [European] Union are linked to capital, ruling elites, and/or citizens who come from Russia and from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in particular”.

The CIS also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, and four central Asian states.

But inflow of criminal money aside, the MEPs also cited estimates that income generated by corruption, arms and human trafficking, drug dealing, tax evasion, and other crimes in the EU amounted to €110bn a year.

They said VAT fraud cost EU taxpayers up to €147bn a year and aggressive tax planning cost them a further €50bn to €190bn a year.

They also shamed six EU jurisdictions – Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and The Netherlands – for behaving like “tax havens”, which drained income from their EU neighbours.

Transparency International, a Brussels-based NGO, welcomed Tuesday’s vote, saying it was “happy to see that [the EP] … has adopted” its “report on fairer and more effective taxation and tackling financial crimes, including money laundering and risky golden visa schemes”.

The EU commission has voiced similar misgivings to the MEPs.

But the non-binding EP report comes amid resistance from member states to gran EU bodies extra powers over sensitive areas of their jurisdictions.

EU ministers, last Thursday, diluted commission proposals to give the EBA, which currently has just a few staff who specialise in money laundering, a greater oversight role.

“It is irresponsible that EU governments blocked a true European restart for common financial supervision,” Sven Giegold, a German green MEP, said at the time.

All 28 EU states, earlier in March, also blocked commission proposals for enhanced due diligence in bank transactions from Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Libya, among others, in a sign of the mood in EU capitals.

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