In support of Antoine Deltour
We support Antoine Deltour
We support Antoine Deltour, being charged by Luxembourg authorities for having disclosed confidential tax agreements arranged by the Grand Duchy’s administration.
While he was employed by a leading international auditing firm, Antoine Deltour discovered an agressive tax avoidance scheme, approved by Luxembourg authorities. Beneath a semblance of legality, the implemented operations exploit loopholes in curent legislative framework to deprive colossal amounts in tax income from some countries, to the detriment of their citizens.
Antoine Deltour, a quiet and moderate man and an employee well-liked by his superiors, wasn’t looking to discredit his former employer nor the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, but rather intended to expose a systemic injustice. He acted in a completely disinterested manner –and is now facing a 5-year jail sentence as well as a fine of more than 1,250,000 €– for the sole purpose of enlightening the public debate on these inequitable tax procedures.
The LuxLeaks disclosures have profoundly impacted the debate on international taxation systems. With no delay, finance ministers of Germany, France and Italy asked the European Commission to swiftly take action. Last December, Pierre Moscovici –European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs– stated that LuxLeaks offered both “an opportunity and a political responsibility to act right away on tax harmonization matters”. The European Commission has made the fight against tax evasion and avoidance a top political priority and will present a Tax Transparency Package next March. Moreover, the European parliament decided on the 12th of Februrary to set up a special committee on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect, following the LuxLeaks scandal. Even though a Special Committee does not have the extended powers of the Inquiry Committee that was initially proposed by about two hundred Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), it has the same mandate and will enable fourty-five MEPs to investigate any possible violations of European tax law over six months.
These political reactions show beyond doubt that the disclosure of the LuxLeaks documents supports the common good. We congratulate Antoine Deltour for the courage he showed in blowing the whistle in an unselfish manner. We hereby declare that the charges against Antoine Deltour are politically unfair and ethically unacceptable, because he only acted as a responsible citizen and made great service to the common good of the European people.
- Isabelle Attard, French MP (Nouvelle Donne)
- Pascal Canfin, former French Minister for Development
- Emmanuel Chaumery, National secretary of Nouvelle Donne
- Daniel Cohn-Bendit, former French MEP (EELV)
- Sergio Coronado, French MP (EELV)
- Hervé Falciani, SwissLeaks whistleblower
- Yann Galut, French MP (PS)
- Stéphanie Gibaud, UBS whistleblower
- Eva Joly, French MEP (EELV)
- Benoît Majerus, professor at the University of Luxembourg
- Cédric Perrin, French senator (UMP)
- Thomas Piketty, economist
- Denis Robert, journalist and author
- Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower
This op-ed article was also published in the French newspaper Libération on March 10th, 2015.