Luxembourg media report on “Broadside against the financial centre”

This morning both the Luxembourg Wort and the Tageblatt feature the “Luxembourg Leaks” story prominently on their homepages.

The Tageblatt’s headline is “Tax Tricks Made in Luxembourg”, while the Wort’s is “Leaked documents reveal global firms’ tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg”

Yesterday evening the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners revealed how Luxembourg provided secret tax deals to over 300 multinationals including Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank.

Although both articles in the Luxembourg media are largely summaries of lengthier pieces available from international sources, in particular the Guardian and the Süddeutsche Zeitung, it is interesting to see which parts were selected.

The Wort includes an ICIJ quote on Luxembourg’s tax department

“”It’s like taking your tax plan to the government and getting it blessed ahead of time,” the ICIJ  quoted Connecticut School of Law tax expert Richard Pomp as saying.

“And most are blessed. Luxembourg has a very user-friendly tax department.””

and also highlights a Guardian quote in which another tax expert calls Luxembourg a “magical fairyland”.

The Tageblatt article (in German) is clear about the impact of the revelations for Luxembourg:

“Full broadside against the financial centre. Secret documents reveal how corporations save millions in taxes through complicated Luxembourg structures.”

It also has a first reaction to Luxembourg Leaks from Jean-Claude Juncker, currently president of the European Commission.

“The EU Commission does not have just Luxembourg in its sights for unorthodox tax practices. Brussels authorities have similar allegations against Ireland for allegedly favoring Apple and against the Netherlands (Starbucks).”

“The data from Luxembourg are from the years 2008 to 2010, when Jean-Claude Juncker was in office as Premier. He is now president of the EU Commission and could be said to be investigating himself. He has already announced, however, that he will not interfere in the investigation. “I will have no influence and will not abuse my authority” said Juncker to the German TV channel ARD.”

Luxembourg is ranked second on the Financial Secrecy Index.

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