The cum-ex scandal must be investigated by the EU financial authorities after MEPs voted overwhelmingly to adopt stronger measures in light of the massive fraud.
The tax scam has cost EU taxpayers some €55 billion at the latest count, and MEPs want more powers for tax administrations and for cross-border investigative task forces to be set up. Widening EU rules on mandatory exchange of tax information – including the disclosure of dividend arbitrage schemes – have also been put forward under new proposals.
With bankers, brokers, hedge funds, international tax firms, investors, lawyers and insurance companies manipulating the tax payments and refunds during the trading process over many years, cum-ex’s estimated losses for Germany alone ranges from €5.3 billion to as high as €30 billion, with €17 billion also swindled out of France, €4.5 billion in Italy, €2 billion in Denmark and €201 million for Belgium.
“A European investigation must start now!” said, reacting to the vote, Dimitris Papadimoulis (SYRIZA, Greece).
“An overwhelming majority of MEPs have voted to address the cum-ex scandal – the biggest tax fraud ever. People demand transparency, democracy and accountability. The investigation must be thorough enough so as to uncover every single detail of this financial crime,” he added.
“This is an important declaration which references the illicit operations that have been organised by big European banks. The attempt by the right-wing EPP group to erase any references to banks underlines the shameful complicity with entities that should come under public control. As stated in the resolution, an inquiry by the European Supervisory Authority into the cum-ex operations is now mandatory,” said Miguel Urbán Crespo (Podemos, Spain) who also backed the new proposals.