Matt Carthy MEP sends message of solidarity to Luxleaks whistleblowers
Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has sent a message of solidarity to the three men facing a retrial in Luxembourg over their role in bringing the Luxleaks tax scandal to light.
In 2014, former Pricewaterhouse Coopers employees and whistle-blowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, and journalist Edouard Perrin, revealed more than 340 sweetheart tax deals between Luxembourg and multinationals that allowed the companies to pay as little as one per cent in tax.
In June Perrin was acquitted, while Deltour and Halet were convicted of theft and violating Luxembourg's professional secrecy laws.
The pair were fined and given suspended sentences. The Luxembourg authorities are appealing the three cases in a retrial that begins tomorrow, in an attempt to impose tougher verdicts and sentences.
A video message from Matt Carthy and other MEPs will be displayed at a solidarity rally in Luxembourg this evening.
The Sinn Fein MEP commended:
"I want to send a message of solidarity from Ireland to those being persecuted for exposing Luxembourg’s sweetheart deals with multinationals – journalist Edouard Perrin and whistle-blowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet – as they face this retrial.
"Luxleaks prompted an inquiry in the European Parliament but we can see that the political response has been totally insufficient.
"The fact that Jean-Claude Juncker, who oversaw this industrial-scale tax avoidance in Luxembourg remains the president of the European Commission shows just how insufficient the response at the political level has been.
"Just this week we’ve learned that in the past year, Luxembourg has signed more than 170 new sweetheart deals with multinationals, and that across the EU the number of these deals have skyrocketed in the past two years.
"More than 1400 sweetheart deals for multinationals are now in place in countries across the EU.
"The Apple state aid ruling in Ireland shows that these sweetheart deals are not only morally outrageous – they’re also illegal.
"The fact that we had to rely on whistle-blowers to alert the world to what was going on shows the secrecy that surrounds the tax affairs of multinationals. And the fact that these whistle-blowers and a journalist are being persecuted by the authorities for bringing this information into the public domain is an appalling illustration of our priorities in Europe.
"We want to send a message of solidarity today as Edouard, Antoine and Raphael face court again – because all of us owe them a debt of gratitude."