27 EU governments (all except Belgium) are set to block the European Commission’s blacklist of high-risk money laundering countries. France and the UK want to remove Saudi Arabia and other countries from the list. Spain is protecting Panama. The United States is exerting massive pressure because four US jurisdictions are on the list. German Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is hiding behind unconvincing methodological criticism. The Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union are expected to decide on 13 March whether to reject the European Commission’s proposal for the blacklist.
The spokesperson for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, said:
“The rejection of the governments is a farce at the expense of security. The blacklist is an important tool against money laundering and terrorist financing. Governments must ask themselves whether they are on the side of autocrats or their citizens. The money laundering list must not be washed away. The EU Commission has presented a courageous list. The government’s criticism of methods is flimsy. Once again, the German federal government, together with other EU states, is blocking important decisions by the EU Parliament and the Commission against financial crime. Olaf Scholz must make a U-turn and lift the blockade of the blacklist. The Federal Government becomes a notorious blocker in European financial policy”.
Letter from MEPs defending the list:
If you have any questions, I will be happy to share further background information and send you the text of the proposed decision of the 27 states to reject the money laundering list.