Pandora Papers is a series of 12 million documents that reveal the operation of a hidden financial reality, marked by huge fortunes, tax evasion and, in some cases, money laundering, the deeds being committed by some of the strongest and richest people of the world.
More than 600 journalists from 117 countries analyzed the documents over a period of several months. This is one of the largest global investigations in history.
Pandora Papers include 6.4 million documents, nearly 3 million images, over one million emails and nearly 500,000 spreadsheets.
The documents show how some of the world’s most influential people – including more than 330 politicians in 90 countries – are using offshore companies to hide their vast fortunes. Big names are mentioned, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with 100 other billionaires and 30 global leaders.
According to estimates by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC, the money hidden in tax havens amounts to at least $ 5.6 trillion and can reach $ 32 trillion.
Corruption at such a high level erodes citizens’ trust in politicians and authorities. That is why all legal and institutional resources must be found at European level to prevent and punish such acts harshly and uncompromisingly.
Strasbourg: The Pandora Papers – Implications for efforts to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance (Debate) – Renew Vlad Gheorghe’s European Parliament speech (06.10.2021).
We ask European citizens to trust us, to be civically active and turnout to vote.
But like all of us, citizens see Panama Papers, now Pandora Papers, they see rich corrupt politicians. They plunder national budgets or European funds, commit tax evasion or environmental crimes. All citizens see that not only we do NOT defeat corruption, we even sit at the table with the corrupt.
We allow investigative journalists to be killed like Daphne Galizia or Ján Kuciak. Their criminals pay too little and too late.
The rule of law conditionality is still not applied.
The European Prosecutor’s Office led by Kovesi has also been delayed, was under-budgeted, now lacks staff.
Environmental crimes are quite lucrative, but most go unpunished. I have called for a European Green Prosecutor and hope it will happen during this term.
Let us be clear: the trust of European citizens can no longer be fooled with nice speeches. We need to act NOW so that a new Pandora Papers does not happen.