An unhappy Panamanian government, clearly looking to remove the appropriate, yet incriminating, 'Panama Papers,' from public debate, has successfully caused the EU to remove that title from its investigation. This act demonstrates an effort to whitewash the situation, rather than correct it, and truly reform Panama.
In June 2016, Panamanians, acting through the largely figurehead Central American Parliament (Parlacen), requested that the European Parliament asked that the stigma from the research group, convened to examine the extent to which Europeans, using the Mossack Fonseca law firm, had used tax haven corporations to evade taxes, hide the proceeds of corruption, and otherwise break the law, in their home countries.
In December, in a note to Panama, the EU agreed, and the investigating committee name was changed to the Committee on Money Laundering, Avoidance and Fiscal Evasion. Panamanians were elated, and openly regarded the change as a success. No meaningful reform has been implemented; the country's internal investigating commission's report was widely regarded, outside Panama, as merely an effort at damage control, for political purposes, and did not propose true reform; its two non-Panamanian members both resigned, indicating that they learned the true purpose of the commission was bogus.
Frankly, the purpose of the term 'Panama Papers,' by the world's media, is to remind us of what the ICIJ revealed, and to continue to press for either reform in the tax havens, or to forever label them chronic financial pirates, who are to be avoided by the legitimate financial community. Keep using that name, as it is a highly effective tool, against the existing tax haven culture.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock