Goldman tax dodge fury shakes Denmark government

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Dong GS

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We received this email yesterday about opposition in Denmark to a deal to sell a big stake in the state energy company Dong to Goldman Sachs, raising large civil society pushback, partly due to concerns about possible tax avoidance. Right now the lead story on the FT website is “Danish coalition on brink over Goldman deal

From Sara Jespersen at Eurodad:

“The sale of shares in the State energy company DONG to Goldman Sachs have sparked furious debate. A petition with citizen signatures is now at more than 177.000 opposing this sale! (note Denmark has only 5.6 million inhabitants; the FT now updates with 188,000)

The Copenhagen Post reports:

“The DONG and Sachs sale came under the microscope after it was revealed that the investment bank will administrate its ownership from shell corporations in Luxembourg, the US state of Delaware and the Cayman Islands, all well-known tax havens.”

Jespersen continues:

A big part of the debate is about how Goldman Sachs contributed to the crisis in 2008, but also how they might very well not pay taxes in Denmark due to their corporate structure.

Media stories here and here. Of course they deny that tax dodging will take place – but those kinds of denials are ten a penny and although we haven’t reviewed this particular structure, these kinds of deals do tend to cost ordinary taxpayers substantial sums.

See a graphics on Goldman Sachs corporate ownership for this buy-up here (scroll down,) and see pictures from stunt today in front the parliament in Copenhagen here.”

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About The Author

Nicholas Shaxson is a journalist and writer on the staff of Tax Justice Network. He is author of the book Poisoned Wells about the oil industry in Africa, published in 2007, and the more recent Treasure Islands: Tax havens and the Men who Stole the World, published by Random House in January 2011. He lives in Berlin
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