EP’s anti money laundering Committee to pay a visit to Cyprus

Members of the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) arrive on Thursday in Cyprus to probe alleged violations and cases of mismanagement in the implementation of the relevant European legislation.

The delegation will meet on Friday with the Ministers of Finance, Interior and Energy, as well as with the President of the House Finance Committee.

Moreover, PANA members will also meet with representatives from the Central Bank of Cyprus, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank associations, among others. On Friday evening, Foreign Minister Kasoulides will host a dinner for the members of the delegation.

According to a PANA announcement, the mission will be conducted in full cooperation with the Cypriot authorities in order to discuss the effective implementation of the acquis.

The Committee has been established after the Panama Papers leak, following a European Parliament decision on June 8, 2016.

Speaking to CNA, MEP Lefteris Chrystoforou from the Democratic Rally and the EPP, who is a substitute member of the Committee, said that PANA has paid many visits to various countries. Through its contacts in Cyprus, the Committee will certify once more that Cyprus is in compliance with fiscal and anti-money laundering rules.

The MEP also noted that the conclusions from such missions are discussed in regular sessions with full transparency and with the participation of Cypriot MEPs who are members of the Committee.

PANA will note that Cyprus is a country with absolute transparency and presents a model when it comes to handling these matters, Christoforou said.

This is a good opportunity in the presence of the Committee in Cyprus to attest and send a clear message that Cyprus presents a model and an exemplary country in the last couple of years when it comes to these matters the MEP said.

Cypriot MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou from AKEL and the European United Left, who is a member of the Committee, also spoke to CNA and noted that Cyprus is included in the list of countries PANA believes it should pay a visit.

He expressed his belief that Cyprus is not a target country, since there are other priorities, such as Malta. There are also UK territories, which are not part of the EU and for which there is also a problem, Hadjigeorgiou noted.

He expressed hope that the Committee’s visit to Cyprus will prove beneficial for the country, and that the representatives from the government and the banking sector will be able to highlight the changes that have taken place in Cyprus’ tax system.

Source: Cyprus News Agency