The revelations made by the so-called Paradise Papers, a trove of 13.4 million files leaked by 96 media around the world through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), confirm the “unfair, irrational, tragic reality of our world”, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a recorded statement posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts on Monday.
“The revelations that began yesterday with the Paradise Papers confirm the unfair, irrational and tragic reality of our world. The global elite conceal huge sums of money in tax havens by systematically avoiding inspection and taxation of their economic activities,” he said.
“And this, at a time when billions of people around the world bear the brunt of an economic crisis and unrestrained exploitation, while those excluded, the victims of poverty and the victims of unemployment, multiply. It is an inhuman mechanism that characterizes the capitalism of our time and reproduces and expands the world’s inequalities,” he added.
Tsipras said the issue of tax havens is “a challenge for the global community and the Greek government”, adding there can be “no fairer world, no hope for workers without transparency and fairness in tax burdens.”
He noted that Greece knows all too well the repercussions of allowing the opaque activities of an economic elite to go unchecked, its connections to the political system and its constant resistance to efforts for a fair contribution of tax burdens.
Speaking on what has to be done to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, he said countries need to fight for more rules in international organizations, strengthen media that have the courage to reveal those issues and fight tax evasion decisively.
“We are committed to this fight to justify the expectations and hopes of the Greek people and to prove that there is another way,” he added and pledged that the government will intensify efforts to tackle tax evasion and impose rules that will ensure transparency in Greece.