December 6, 2017 / 6:34 PM / 2 years ago

Panama recalls EU ambassador over tax haven list

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panama recalled its ambassador to the EU from Brussels for consultations after the Central American country was included on a European Union blacklist of countries deemed as tax havens, the government said on Wednesday.

European Union finance ministers adopted a blacklist of 17 jurisdictions deemed tax havens on Tuesday, in an unprecedented step to counter worldwide tax avoidance, although they did not agree on financial levies for the listed countries.

“Given the unfortunate incorporation of the country in this discriminatory list, the Republic of Panama has decided to call its Ambassador to the European Union, Dario Chiru, to assess the steps to be followed moving forward,” the government said in a statement.

The list also included American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The government of the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago said on Wednesday that it soon would take two bills to parliament to reform its tax codes. Passage of those bills could help it get removed from the EU blacklist, the government said.

“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago shares the goals of the EU with respect to fighting tax abuse and reassures that we will act with alacrity on this matter,” the country’s attorney general said in a statement

Reporting by Elida Moreno in Panama and Linda Hutchinson-Jafar in Port-of-Spain; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Sandra Maler

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