September 25, 2016

Panama mounts fierce defence of vital financial sector

Panama mounted a fierce defence of its crucial financial services sector on Wednesday, trying to head off a feared international clampdown on its offshore business in the wake of the “Panama Papers” leak.
Diplomats accredited to the small Central American nation were called to the Foreign Ministry to hear officials argue that it was unfair to single out Panama in the scandal.
They heard “what is the truth about Panama,” the State Secretary for communication, Manuel Dominguez, told AFP.
The Government has also written a harshly worded letter to the head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, attacking a statement he made describing Panama as “the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities”.
Those accusations were false, “unfair and discriminatory”, Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie wrote in the letter, which was obtained by AFP.
Gurria and others relying on reports from the “Panama Papers” were seeking to “distort the facts and tarnish the reputation of the country,” Hincapie wrote. (Excerpt from AFP)

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