All EU governments except the Belgium signal that they wish to block the European Commission's proposed anti-money laundering blacklist. According to reports, France and Britain want to remove Saudi Arabia and other countries from the list, Spain is protecting Panama, and the United States is lobbying over the four US jurisdictions on the list. EU Finance Ministers are expected to decide on 13th March whether to reject the European Commission's proposal for the blacklist.
Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA rapporteur on the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, comments:
"The blacklist is one of the key tools proposed in the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and would make a real difference in the fight against corrupt cash and terrorism financing in Europe. The fact that so many EU governments seem so willing to turn a blind eye to the flaws in the financial system that undermine our stability, security and prosperity, proves exactly why we need EU-level action on money laundering in the first place.
"European governments need to decide if their interests lie with their own citizens or states such as Saudi Arabia and the US who have been lobbying them to undermine the proposed blacklist. The fight against money laundering is serious and EU Member States need to prove they're on the side of cracking down on criminals, organised crime and corruption and not for maintaining the flow of dirty cash across our continent. The European Parliament stands by the Commission in its attempts to fight crime through enforcing the law and we expect Member States to do the same."