Release from the PCP Press Office

On the Pandora Papers journalistic investigation and the fight against tax evasion and fraud

The elements now disclosed on the Pandora Papers journalistic investigation, with references to the involvement of former Portuguese leaders in actions of concealment of wealth and tax evasion, call for clarification and finding of responsibilities whatever the consequences.

It should be noted that this disclosure follows other processes, such as the Panama Papers, Lux Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Luanda Leaks, Malta Files, among others, which revealed the monstrous volume of tax evasion processes carried out by big capital. Processes with the coverage and active participation of the main capitalist powers, hence the presence of large Portuguese companies is not surprising, as well as of former leaders who also circulate through them.

The PCP recalls that such practices are inseparable from the privatisations, the free movement of capital, the trivialisation of offshore companies, the role of the European Union in promoting this system, including in the national territory (the Madeira free zone), together with the door revolving between members of successive PS, PSD and CDS governments and the boards of directors of large companies.

Offshores are used to hide wealth, associated with the objective of evading taxes or practices such as money laundering, funding illegal activities (such as drug, weapons or human trafficking) or terrorism.

This means billions of euros that Portugal loses every year, and which would be necessary for the State's response to the country's needs. The privileges guaranteed to big capital, such as these tax evasion schemes, contrast with high taxation on workers, MSMEs and consumption. In addition to the direct consequences, offshores are part of a financial system marked by opacity, which has already led to serious losses for the Portuguese people, as shown in the cases BPN, BPP, BES/GES, Banif, among others.

It was not due to lack of the PCP's intervention and combat that this situation took root. An intervention that contrasts with the action of PS, PSD and CDS which, at the same time as they open the way for the expansion of these processes, always invoke the need for international consensus, namely in the EU, to postpone what should not be postponed. The high degree of responsibility of Portuguese supervisory and regulatory bodies cannot be forgotten either.

Faced with yet another demonstration of the need to eliminate tax havens, the PCP reaffirms previously tabled proposals that now gain new relevance:
- the prohibition of any commercial or professional relationships of national entities with non-cooperating offshore entities;
- the creation of a special duty of information for all relationships with entities based in offshore centres, even if considered as cooperating;
- the creation of a special tax on financial transactions with tax havens;
- the exclusion of any public support for entities based in offshore centres, including within the scope of the RRP;
- the obligation for the wealth generated in our country to be taxed in Portugal;
- reinforcement of the Tax Authority's capacity to intervene with economic groups, in addition to deepening cooperation between States to stop these processes.

Rejecting false solutions that some point out, namely those that in the name of a so-called “tax harmonisation” aim to withdraw sovereignty on this matter from countries like ours, the PCP reaffirms that the solutions to this serious problem involve the elimination of tax havens (their economic uselessness is almost consensual), ensuring the prohibition of financial transfers and the establishment of tax offices of national or multinational companies in these territories. And it also demands public control of the international circulation of capital and of commercial banking.

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