German MEP calls on Portugal government to end golden visas

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 22-01-2020 17:36:00 · 2 Comments

German MEP Sven Giegold, who follows financial scandals like the 'LuxLeaks' and 'Panama Papers', said Wednesday that the case of the 'Luanda Leaks' "is shocking", calling for action by the Portuguese government to end programmes like the 'gold' visa scheme.

Reacting to alleged financial schemes of Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, which also affects EU member states such as Portugal, Sven Giegold spoke of a "shocking scandal because it hits one of the poorest countries in the world," Angola.

The German member of the European Green party, who is an activist in denouncing cases of corruption such as the 'LuxLeaks' or the 'Panamá Papers', having shared this 'task' with Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes, stressed that "there is something Portugal should do" after the release of the 'Luanda Leaks'.

"The Portuguese government should put an end to 'gold' visas [residence permits granted to foreign investors] because this allows this type of case to occur, and makes it easier to do business in Europe without the control of banking supervisors" and also "facilitates transactions with dirty money".

"It is unacceptable for the Portuguese government, as a centre-left government, to support this kind of system", insisted Sven Giegold, arguing that "Portugal has an important role" in this financial scandal in Angola.

As far as the European Parliament is concerned, Giegold said there should be a "public debate" on the case at the next plenary session from 10 to 13 February, but he pointed out that this depends on the agenda and availability of the political groups.

As for the Commission, Giegold suggested that the laws to combat tax avoidance and evasion should be tightened and harmonised across the EU, bearing in mind that "there are many differences in tax regimes" between member states.

He also called for sanctions in the case of the 'Luanda Leaks', on "banks and supervisors who allegedly did not follow the anti-money laundering law".

"The documents revealed show that the money came from dubious sources and this shows that these entities, which should have respected the law, did not take the necessary steps," he said.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism revealed on Sunday more than 715,000 files, under the name of 'Luanda Leaks', detailing financial schemes of Isabel dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, which would have allowed money to be taken from the Angolan public treasury, using tax havens.

According to the investigation, Isabel dos Santos allegedly set up a cover-up scheme that allowed her to divert more than US$100 million (about €90 million) to a Dubai-based company with Paula Oliveira, a friend of Isabel dos Santos and administrator of the multimedia operator NOS, as the only declared shareholder.


That’s very rich coming from them Germans!
We are on the verge of the next Lehman Brothers moment with Deutsche Bank, the most important bank in all of Europe, it has 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives, and most of the largest “too big to fail banks” in the United States have very deep financial connections to the bank. In other words, too corrupt to mention!

By Anna from Madeira on 22-01-2020 11:51

"It is unacceptable for the Portuguese government, as a centre-left government, to support this kind of system," said German MEP Sven Giegold.
The Gold Visa program is a wonderful concept that generates much-needed investment into Portugal. It is not the fault of the Portuguese government that some people may have taken an unscrupulous advantage of the program.
It is not the place or business of German MEP Sven Giegold to dictate to Portugal what it can and cannot do regarding their visa or emigration policies.
German MEP Sven Giegold best worry about his own nation and not Portugal.

By Marc J. Moniz from USA on 22-01-2020 07:41
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