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    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid. /

    Trafalgar Square Turns Into Tropical Tax Haven for Anti-Corruption Summit

    © Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam
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    Trafalgar Square has become a tax haven for a day, complete with sand, palm trees and beach balls.

    On Thursday morning, as world leaders gathered in London for an international anti-corruption summit, British charities Oxfam UK, Action Aid and Christian Aid engineered a tropical-themed stunt to raise awareness on the issue of tax dodging.

    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.
    © Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam
    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.

    The set-up showed rich "bankers" in suits and bowler hats having fun on an artificial beach, recreated in the middle of London's iconic Trafalgar Square.

    The organizers said that outlawing offshore secrecy and eliminating loopholes that allow big earners to elude taxation are essential steps to take in the fight against corruption.

    "We are here to remind the world leaders attending the summit that we have to tackle tax dodging — a form of corruption that hurts the world's poorest the most," Oxfam UK's spokesperson Melanie Kramers told Sputnik.

    "The Panama Papers revealed how global this problem is, and its unseen victims are the people in the poorest countries that miss out on billions of revenues every year. That money can pay for medicines, midwives, textbooks, teachers — measures that could really change the poor's lives."

    While Kramers agreed that certain "steps in the right direction" were being taken at the summit, she underlined that much still needed to be done.

    "We are still not seeing enough to end offshore secrecy: too many tax havens are allowed to operate as secrete financial centers. We need a global solution for this."

    The problem is compounded by the fact that some of those who are supposed to spearhead this anti-dodging battle could themselves have resorted to sketchy tax havens in the past.

    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.
    © Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam
    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.

    Several heads of state, including Iceland's former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull, Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko, Argentina's Mauricio Macri and former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi were all named in the Panama Papers.

    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.
    © Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam
    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has also admitted to have benefited from his father's investments offshore.

    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.
    © Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam
    London's Trafalgar Square transformed into an interactive, tropical tax haven by Oxfam, Action Aid and Christian Aid.

    "It's a problem that the use of tax havens is limited to the rich and powerful, because then the people who can afford lawyers and accountants are the only ones that can afford to move their money in this way. But when they're also the same people who are writing the laws we have a big, big problem," Kramers said.

    Related:

    London: Money-Laundering Capital of the World Hosts Anti-Corruption Summit
    War on Want: Corruption is Alive and Kicking in UK's Tax Havens
    Cameron Announces UK's Commitment to Create Int'l Anti-Corruption Center
    Tags:
    tax haven, corruption, London Anti-Corruption Summit 2016, Oxfam, Trafalgar Square, Great Britain, United Kingdom, London
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