Friday, April 3, 2009

Guatemala Makes G-20 List of Tax Havens

PARIS- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced today the list of tax havens that are considered "less cooperative" in releasing banking information. The list includes Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Guatemala, Switzerland, Chile, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Singapore and Luxembourg are a group described by the OECD as "other financial centers" that have pledged to respect international standards, but still substantially do not.

Costa Rica, Uruguay, Malaysia and the Philippines have not committed to respect the international standards, according to the OECD.

In the case of Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria, the OECD states that had withdrawn its reservation on article 26 of the OECD Convention on the lifting of banking secrecy in cases of fraud.

The organization had previously refused to publish lists of tax havens. Some countries like Switzerland say that such a list should be produced privately, in-house.

"The times of banking secrecy are over," said French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking from London. Sarkozy argued that it's time to begin the fight against such tax haven countries that do not cooperate and pledged to make it a priority of the summit of the G-20.

The Heads of state and government asked their finance ministers to adopt sanctions against countries that do not cooperate.

Sarkozy was satisfied that the G-20 agreed to publish the list of tax havens and it was revealed that China was the most reluctant member to agree.

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