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New Panama scalp as EU five unite

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:42

As the Panama Papers claim another political scalp - with the resignation of Spain's Industry Minister - Europe's biggest nations launch a joint effort to clamp down on tax evasion. How effective will it be? Grace Pascoe reports.

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Another one bites the dust. This time it's Spain's Industry Minister - Jose Manuel Soria Resigning after being named in the Panama Papers in connection with offshore dealings. He denies any wrongdoing. This as Europe's five largest economies, including Spain, join forces to clamp down on tax evasion. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "We deal another hammer blow against those who would illegally evade taxes and hide their wealth in the dark corners of the financial system." The UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have agreed to share data on secret owners of businesses and trusts. In an attempt to make it harder to hide wealth. And to quell public outrage over offshore tax evasion. But - will it work - or is it just a fig leaf after the embarrassment of the Panama Papers scandal? (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "I'm in the fig leaf camp on this one. This is just an effort really by government to appear to be tackling the issue. Britain's 17 overseas territories have been spared from making registry of ownership data public. Nor does the agreement include other major tax bases. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Without some of the biggest, richest nations of the world involved it in itself is probably not going to do much. You do need the likes of the U.S. and China and Russia and some of the oil nations involved to really get a proper handle on where some of the money is moving." The Panama Papers have already forced Iceland's PM out. And left Britain's Cameron facing some embarrassing questions. With Soria's resignation, many wonder whether the scandal will claim other scalps too.

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New Panama scalp as EU five unite

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:42