“In The Name Of God, Go!”

By Global Tax Weekly

The outgoing European Parliament is remaining true to its warped principles, and is going out on a high, waving through a suicidal prescription for enhancement of the AMLD. Ah, you didn’t know? That stands for the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, and to give you an idea of how it works, last week a friend of mine in Italy received a letter from a local bank (mischievously backdated by two months) demanding immediate compliance with the Directive, on pain of account closure. Passport, utility bill, the usual stuff. He wasn’t going to be in Italy for a month, but they wouldn’t accept this. So the account will be closed, but by him, not by them! Instead, he will use another, non-EU bank account where they still have human beings rather than bureaucratic automatons in the pay of Strasbourg. How many money-launderers do you know? Terrorists? I thought so: none. My friend and his family had banked with the institution concerned for more than fifty years. Do they not know enough about him already? Now the master-minds in Strasbourg (that’s the European Parliament, in case you didn’t realize, and they waste millions of my and your money traipsing around Europe with their mistresses and cashiers for no purpose whatsoever except to satisfy their own amour propre and the folie de grandeur of the French) want to establish inter-linked national beneficial ownership registers. Now I’m not going to try to address the issue of whether this is necessary or not, for the stated purpose; I just want to point out that, like my friend, when the settlor of a Luxembourg foundation realises that every snarling journalist in Europe (that’s me!) will be able to find out what companies he owns and where, and what assets they have, he will promptly move the whole lot to Labuan, Vanuatu, Caracao, or wherever the fancy takes him. Goodbye, Europe! And definitely good riddance to this apology for a forum. As Oliver Cromwell said to the Rump Parliament: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” Except that the next one will be worse, I suppose.

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