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Letter to Ambassador of Luxembourg in Denmark

Added 08 May 2015
On May 7 Eurodad and campaigners from all over the world held a demonstration at the Embassy of Luxembourg in Denmark against corporate secrecy and prosecutions of whistleblowers. In solidarity with the whistleblowers the activists blew whistles and handed a letter to the Ambassador, Gérard Léon Pierre Philipps. The text of the letter is below. A press release can also be accessed here.



His Excellency Mr. Gérard Léon Pierre Philipps
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of Luxembourg
Fridtjof Nansens Plads 5, 1.
2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

7 May 2015

Dear Ambassador Philipps,

We, the undersigned organisations, would like to express our deep concern about the role of Luxembourg in facilitating large-scale tax avoidance of multinational enterprises, as well as the prosecution of two whistleblowers and one of the key journalists, who acted in the public interest and helped publish the so-called #LuxLeaks information.

The #LuxLeaks scandal revealed secret ‘sweetheart tax deals’ between the Luxembourg authorities and hundreds of multinational enterprises, which allowed the companies to lower their tax rates to extremely low levels, in some cases less than 1%. This kind of corporate tax avoidance has grave implications for societies and citizens in both developed and developing countries. It increases the escalating inequality and deprives societies of tax income that is desperately needed to combat poverty, protect the environment, ease austerity measures and fund essential public services such as health care, education and sanitation.

We believe the #LuxLeaks information should never have been secret in the first place. The public in both developed and developing countries have a right to know the truth about how much – or how little – multinational enterprises pay in taxes. Therefore, we believe the whistleblowers and journalist who are currently being charged for exposing the #LuxLeaks information acted in the public interest. We also believe that multinational corporations should be required to carry out public country by country reporting and pay their fair share of taxes.

Through today’s action, we are expressing our solidarity with the whistleblowers and journalist and hope to raise awareness of these problems and injustices. As Luxembourg is about to take up the presidency of the European Union, it is even more vital that the government shows commitment to changing course and ensuring corporate transparency, fair corporate taxation and effective protection of whistleblowers and journalists. We hope you will convey this message to the government of Luxembourg.

Sincerely,

11.11.11 - Koepel van de Vlaamse Noord-Zuidbeweging
ActionAid Denmark
ActionAid International
ActionAid UK
Attac Austria
Both ENDS, Netherlands
CCFD-Terre Solidaire
Changemaker Norway
Christian Aid
Christian Aid Ireland
CIDSE
CNCD-11.11.11
Debt & Development Coalition Ireland
Diakonia
Ekvilib Inštitut
Erlassjahr.dk
Eurodad - European Network on Debt and Development
Forum Norway
Forum Syd
Global Alliance for Tax Justice
Global Policy Forum
Glopolis
Ibis
Instytut Globalnej Odpowiedzialności
Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK
Justice et Paix
Kairos Europe
Latindadd – la Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos
Methodist Tax Justice Network UK
Norwegian Church Aid
Norwegian ForUM for Development and Environment
Oxfam France
Oxfam Intermón
Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires
Réseau Foi et Justice Afrique Europe
Secours Catholique - Caritas France
Sherpa
Solidaires Finances Publiques
Tax Justice Network
Tax Justice Network Africa
Tax Research UK
VIDC - Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation
WEED – World Economy, Ecology & Development