S&D Group in Slovenia: "The fight against tax evasion and corruption must include everyone – politicians, businesses and citizens themselves"
The S&D Group held a Relaunching Europe initiative event on 'Fairness and Transparency' in Ljubljana, Slovenia yesterday. The debate focused on tax evasion and corruption and was hosted by Slovenian S&D MEPs Mojca Kleva Kekuš and Tanja Fajon.
Speaking at the event, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda voiced a call for urgent action:
"Corruption destroys our society and so does tax evasion and tax fraud. Tax evasion is not just stealing from the state but also from your neighbour. So, action to create a fair and just society must include everyone – politicians, businesses and citizens themselves.
"In the end, corruption and tax evasion both go back to one basic principle – whether we accept morality or whether we allow double standards in our societies.
"The S&D Group is at the forefront in the fight against tax evasion and we have commissioned the study that revealed that €1 trillion is lost each year due to ineffectiveness and lack of action from the EU and national governments.
"When we compare the €1 trillion lost with the figure of €6 billion that has been allocated to invest in fighting youth unemployment, it is painfully clear that we face a disastrous discrepancy.
"We want to get back the money that is lost through tax havens, fraud and corruption. It is citizens' money and it is direly needed to invest in job programmes, education and innovation."
"Tax evasion and fraud are not only an economic problem but one of morality and justice. If citizens pay their share to society we must expect the same from multinationals and rich people who have the knowledge to avoid taxes.
"Everyone agrees that the €1 trillion lost every year must be invested in relevant fields to foster growth."
On corruption, MEP Tanja Fajon concluded:
"We have to change people's approach to and perception of corruption. To fight this cancer in our societies, we have to stress the moral and social responsibility of all players including public administrations, politicians and people. We have to start with ourselves."
Note to editors:
Speakers at the event included Slovenian journalists and specialists in tax evasion and the fight against corruption, as well as representatives from European institutions involved in fighting tax fraud and corruption.