Tax Justice Focus, Third Quarter 2007, Vol. 3, Number 3 – THE FRENCH EDITION
From the Editor
October 5th, 2007
The third quarter 2007 edition of Tax Justice Focus (TJF) is a special edition on accountability, edited by Jean Meckaert, and co-edited by Nicholas Shaxson and John Christensen.
The articles for this edition were commissioned from mostly French-speaking authors, and edited by Jean Meckaert of the Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires, with the aim of injecting a French and a Francophone perspective into our work. A key focus of the edition is on France’s and Europe’s role in the offshore world, and on efforts to tackle the offshore scandal.
In the editorial, Objective Doha: Tackling the Tax Havens, we consider the upcoming conference on Financing for Development, and look at the failures of some of the international initiatives to date that have sought to confront some aspects of the multi-dimensional problem of offshore.
In the lead article, Europe Leads the Fight Against Tax Havens, world experts Christian Chavagneux and Ronen Palan examine how Europe is leading the way in efforts to tackle tax haven abuse – with some success; it and looks at some of the challenges facing those who are fighting this battle.
Xavier Harel, who recently published a book about Africa’s oil industry and some of the corruption that surrounds it, has written an article entitled Africa: the Shadow World of Oil, which examines some of the arcane battles that have been going on between wealthy Congolese politicians and American speculative funds in some of the world’s dirtiest tax havens.
Next, Jean Meckaert and Antoine Dulin, in their article Tax Havens and Ill-Gotten Wealth, describe a recent study they have published about cat-and-mouse games to repatriate many billions of dollars looted from the public treasuries of some of the world’s poorest countries, and resistance from rich countries – including France – to handing back the stolen loot.
Other key articles include:
* CHANTAL CUTAJAR writes about economic and financial crime, some of the difficulties in measuring it, and some of the mechanisms that are being considered to try and crack down. A much longer article, available in French, is also available here.
*VINCENT DREZET proposes some interesting ideas about the need for tax co-operation and harmonisation in the European Union, in order to tackle harmful tax competition and tax haven abuse, and he suggests some ways in which this might be achieved.
This edition also contains a report from David Spencer, a senior advisor to TJN, about his presentations of proposals from TJN to a meeting of tax experts in Rome to the UN Financing for Development Office in Rome in September. Alvin Mosioma of TJN4Africa describes the TJN branch’s first Tax Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. We also review three books: Les paradis fiscaux (Christian Chavagneux and Ronen Palan, 2006); Capitalisme clandestin (Thierry Godefroy and Pierre Lascoumes, 2004); and Afrique: Pillage à huis clos (Xavier Harel, 2006.)