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    Without Concrete Steps 'Golden Passport' Blacklist is 'Tool to Shame' - Lawmaker

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The lack of concrete steps would show that the blacklist of "golden passport" schemes by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is "only a tool to name and shame" the states included, member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs Marco Zanni told Sputnik.

    "If they really are a threat, we will need further concrete actions, otherwise the blacklist is only a tool to name and shame the countries included, to put pressure on them and in the meanwhile to gather everyone’s attention on a certain issue," Zanni said.

    EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova has reportedly expressed concern over passports for sale, stressing that a person who obtains citizenship in one EU country then has access to all of the bloc.

    According to Zanni, nationality should not be for sale, but "special residency conditions" can be offered for substantial investment.

    "Countries operating these passport schemes should make all the necessary controls in order to avoid any threat to our security," Zanni said.

    At the same time, the lawmaker pointed out that Brussels had yet to tackle tax avoidance within the bloc.

    "Last December, the EU put 17 countries on a tax-haven blacklist, but none of its own: at least 5 EU Member States should have been included on that list, using the European Commission’s own criteria," Zanni said.

    READ MORE: Cash for Citizenship, Golden Passport Schemes Revealed in 21 Countries

    The member of the European Parliament stressed that it was important to boost transparency and monitoring of financial transactions, which would help identify any tax evasion schemes or track the money that was being used to fund terrorism.

    Earlier this week, the OECD published its list of high-risk schemes where citizenship or residency obtained through investment in the country could be potentially used for tax evasion. Three European states, Cyprus, Malta and Monaco, were included in the list.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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