A special committee of the European Parliament urges the creation of a European Police Force and a European Regulator dedicated to money laundering. The proposals of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes and Tax Evasion (TAX3) form part of a report with various recommendations, including the abolition of “Golden Visas”.
Since inception, more than 19,000 new “golden” residents have been approved for Golden Visas in Portugal. Only 387 (2 out of every 100 applications) were turned down despite warnings from the UN and the European Commission. Allegations abound that these Portuguese entry visas facilitate money laundering and tax evasion as well as jeopardize the security of the EU. The European Parliament will vote on a proposal to abolish such schemes throughout the member states.
As reported by the FT, the EU blacklist threatens to expose British overseas interests. If Great Britain abandons the European Union as scheduled, some UK territories may become candidates for possible inclusion in future versions of the “dirty money” list. The Americans are also unhappy with Brussels. The US seems more vexed about which territories appear on the blacklist rather than the practices that resulted in this “naming and shaming”. The deadline to form a majority to block the Blacklist is 12 March. The European Parliament is scheduled to vote its approval for the blacklist in the next week. It is improbable that the initiative can be blocked. Despite backing from France and renewed US pressure, it will be difficult for the UK to muster enough support to stop the update.