April 9, 2016 / 7:54 PM / 3 years ago

Germany's Schaeuble says offshore companies must be transparent

BERLIN, April 9 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has called for offshore companies to become transparent after a huge leak of documents from Panama showed how they are used to stash the wealth of the world’s rich and powerful.

Governments across the globe have launched probes into possible financial wrongdoing by the world’s elite after more than 11.5 million documents were leaked from Panama-based Mossack Fonseca, which has set up around 250,000 businesses in the last four decades.

“We need complete transparency worldwide,” Schaeuble wrote in a guest contribution due to be published in German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday.

He wrote that he would, in the coming week, make concrete suggestions on how to tackle the misuse of offshore firms.

Schaeuble urged Panama to finally allow a tax agreement with Germany to be implemented.

“A bilateral tax agreement between Germany and Panama was negotiated three years ago but Panama has not signed it. I expect the Panamanian government to switch to the honest camp after these embarrassing revelations,” he wrote. (Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Helen Popper)

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