Panama is upset by the "lack of coherence" of France, which keeps the country on its blacklist of tax havens despite its "efforts", said Vice president and Chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo in an interview with the French news agency AFP.
"I came to Paris to express the great surprise of Panama for still being on a list to which we do not belong," she said at the end of a visit to Paris, where she met with advisers of French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée. Palace.
Paris included Panama on its blacklist of tax havens after the Panama Papers scandal in 2016 and Panama had threatened to retaliate against France.
The European Commission had also included Panama on its blacklist a year ago but withdrew it a month later.
Panama began at the end of September to exchange financial information under parameters required by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
"There is no coherence" on the part of France, said Saint-Malo. "The historical ties between Panama and France are very strong and really we would like France, like many other countries, to recognize the country's efforts," she said.
The Panama Papers are "a matter of the past," said Saint Malo, who during her Paris visit went to the OECD headquarters, and presented "the efforts "made by our country in the fight against tax evasion.”
The institution "told us that Panama today is a country that meets 100% with international standards," she said, recalling that Panama now exchanges information with 31 countries, including France.
Hence the "surprise" that his country is still on the French blacklist. In the Elysée Palace, the French president's advisers spoke with her about "some technical issues" that Paris asks to be improved.
“Those technical issues do not sustain that Panama remains on a list," she said.
"The Panamanian financial system was harshly criticized in 2016 after the scandal of the Panama Papers, a leak of documents that revealed how hundreds of offshore companies were created by a Panamanian firm, some of which served world personalities to evade taxes and assist money laundering.
The OECD then accused Panama of being "the last great redoubt" to hide off-shore fortunes.
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