Panama's president calls tax evasion a global problem

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has slammed the singling out of his country for the various tax dodging schemes revealed in the massive data breach known as the Panama Papers.

"Panama does not deserve to be singled out on an issue that plagues many countries," Varela writes in an editorial published Monday in the New York Times, adding that "the problem of tax evasion is a global one."

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, along with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, revealed the thousands of offshore tax havens in which politicians, sports stars and celebrities from more than 80 countries hid their money.

The leaked information, amounting to millions of documents, came from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which set up the many shell companies.

"Despite their name, the Panama Papers are not mainly about Panama. They are not even primarily concerned with Panamanian companies," Varela writes.

"But we are willing to accept the responsibility for fixing it ... The world must tackle this problem collectively and with urgency, and Panama stands ready to lead the way."

Last update: Mon, 11/04/2016 - 20:23

More from Europe

Second group of rejected Afghan asylum seekers returns from Germany

A group of 26 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in their home...

New bird flu virus type discovered in northern Germany

A new variant of bird flu has been discovered in domesticated animals in the northern German state of Schleswig-...

EU experts: Merkel has been main target of fake news

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the main target of fake news campaigns in Europe, including disinformation...

Romanian president plans referendum to save anti-corruption law

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis wants to hold a referendum on the country's plans to ease corruption laws, he said...

Seven casualties, 22 missing at Italian avalanche-struck hotel

The death toll at an Italian hotel buried by an avalanche last week has risen to seven, while 22 guests and staff...