Pittella: After the Barroso and now Neelie Kroes case, Juncker must tighten up rules on conflict of interests
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella today is urging president Juncker to tighten up the rules of conduct for members of the Commission following Neelie Kroes being named in the Bahamas leaks. He is also calling on the Panama inquiry committee in the European Parliament to investigate these new leaks on tax evasion.
Gianni Pittella said:
"Like many EU citizens, I am shocked by the new revelations of the Bahamas leaks. If confirmed, it would be shameful if Neelie Kroes forgot to declare that she was the director of an offshore company in the Bahamas at the time she was a member of the Barroso Commission. Barroso has already undermined the image and the credibility of the Commission by announcing that he will work for Goldman Sachs, the bank that helped Greece to conceal its public accounts. Now we have a former member of the Barroso team whose name is mentioned in the Bahamas leaks and who risks further ruining the reputation of the European institutions.
"We call on Jean-Claude Juncker to change the rules of conduct to avoid such obvious conflict of interests.
"There is no time to waste. We need radical change. We need more transparency, more ethics, decency and sanctions for those who ignore these basic principles. Commissioners have to act in the interests of citizens and their conduct, during and after their mandate, must be above all suspicion.
"The Panama inquiry committee in the European Parliament must also be able to investigate these new tax evasion revelations. For two years now, the S&D Group has been fighting for new measures to eradicate tax fraud and tax evasion in Europe. We want a European list of tax havens and sanctions for those who helped companies hide their money in these jurisdictions. We want to ensure that taxes are paid where profits are generated. We now need more progress by ensuring a common consolidated tax basis for company taxation. A large number of big companies must report publicly about their activities country by country, not only in the EU but also globally. These reforms are crucial if we want to be serious about tackling aggressive tax planning and tax fraud."