Last week the whole world was literally shaken to its core by the immense leak of information regarding off-shore accounts. According to the information published in the media, over 11.5 million documents regarding over 200,000 companies established in tax heavens came out of the closet. The implications of the disclosure are beyond any doubt similar to the ones produced by WikiLeaks action a few years ago.
A financial earthquake with serious political implications
After the disclosures, the debate moved from the financial sphere to the political one. Members of some states’ governments were spotted in these documents. In some cases the effects were immediate. The Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson was the first head of #Government who got caught in the vortex of tax heavens. He resigned following the pressure of Icelandic protesters. Besides, it seems that Iceland really tries to reach a better transparency regarding its financial sector. Moreover, it’s the only state that took action by sentencing its bankers for the 2008 financial collapse.
The British PM, David Cameron, is certainly the next big name in the scandal. Although he had initially denied any involvement in the scandal, in light of the newly disclosed information he admitted to having placed money in off-shore accounts. This scandal comes in a difficult political context. This summer, British citizens are facing a referendum with huge political and economic consequences: exiting the European Union or maintaining their present status of a member with special rights. Criticism against Cameron has become more intense. The new scenario can be a real blessing to those who want to avoid a potential Brexit. On the other hand, the hypocrisy of political elites reflects another reality that is consciously or unconsciously ignored by most people.
The financial elites actually avoid the system they themselves promote
The fiscal systems within the modern states have started to fail. When political leaders try avoiding the system they themselves have created and promoted, the reaction of average citizens is inevitable. The legitimacy of a leader or government is basically dust in the wind, simply gone. The legislative authority cannot expect people to be responsible about paying their taxes. Financial and political elites are betraying the values of the very system it is trying to enforce on citizens.
This aspect reveals another chronic problem: the financial elites, the gigantic corporations can afford to invest in finding the legal ways that later on allow them to dodge taxes. There is one important thing to mention: it’s not illegal to have off-shore accounts, but when it comes to government representatives it is an act of hypocrisy and also immorality. #World Politics