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The X Files

The “Panama Papers” are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dark world of tax havens. By Pedro Filipe Soares.
Photo by Andrea Allen/Flickr

These financial black holes show that there are two realities: one for the people who live off their hard earned money and pay taxes, and another for the very rich, those who make a mockery of the system, who take advantage of these financial trapdoors to hide and launder money, cover up businesses, and avoid paying taxes, as well as financing terrorist organisations. 

From Prime Ministers to oligarchs, dictators to football players, artists to arms dealers, the list of people who stash their money in offshore accounts is long, and is as big as the poverty and unemployment that is caused by this financial gangsterism. 

You can’t say it’s inevitable, that globalisation is to blame. That’s a lie. When we look at the number of politicians on the list, it becomes clear that a lot of laws are being abused.

We need strong, effective laws to defend our societies. We need to demand that our politicians be transparent, that their income and property declarations be scrutinised, that final beneficiaries provide ID and that transfers of capital to tax havens be controlled. There’s no time to lose. 

Originally published in "Correio da Manhã" on April 6th 2016. Translated by Luci Ruas for esquerda.net/English.

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Deputado, líder parlamentar do Bloco de Esquerda, matemático.
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