French President Francois Hollande calls for end to all tax havens worldwide
French President Francois Hollande has called for the ‘eradication’ of tax havens in a bid to fight fraud and corruption.
He was speaking after presenting a draft law aimed at ‘moralizing’ French public life, a response to the tax scandal that has shaken his presidency.
Mr Hollande told French banks that they must declare any foreign subsidiaries each year as he presented a draft law drawn up in response to the country’s recent tax scandal.
The president said that a new specialized agency would be set up as part of the new law which is part of a drive to increase transparency. He added that banks will have to explain the nature of their business publicly.
“In other words it won’t be possible for a bank to hide transactions carried out in a tax haven.”
Former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac admitted having offshore assets and that he ‘lied to the president’ about dodging tax has sent shockwaves through the deeply unpopular socialist administration. The former budget minister admitted last week that he had hidden around 600,000 euros (£509,000) in a Swiss bank account.
His admission saw him expelled from the Socialist Party.
The scandal has rocked Hollande’s presidency.
Critics have accused Hollande and his ministers of knowing about and covering up Cahuzac’s tax dodging and of mismanagement for having believed his denials.
The French President had pledged to crack down on tax dodging but the Cahuzac scandal has seriously damaged his popularity.