On May 30, the European Parliament held a hearing with Fernando Rocha Andrade, the Portuguese Secretary of State of Tax Affairs, addressing Portugal’s approach in the fight against money-laundering, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Andrade had to defend the legality of Madeira’s free trade zone arguing it functions within EU rules.
The Portuguese Secretary of State of Tax Affairs highlighted the importance of transparency and information-sharing, saying that EU policies on tax evasion and anti-money laundering were vital to build a better system. He said that the mechanisms for information-sharing among the States as well as the other measures to fight financial illegal activities have to be further developed. Andrade identified transparency as one of the main goals for Portugal and the European Union.
The Minister Andrade stressed that "Madeira is part of the Portuguese national territory and therefore part of Europe,” as he was asked repeatedly about the role and views of the Portuguese government on the island. “The tax arrangement in the free trade zone is in line with the EU regulations, and represents an important element for the development of the island,” he added.
The PANA committee will undertake a fact-finding mission to Portugal at the end of June.
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