Macedonia plans to set up tax haven

Hold that pose Prime Minister

Hold that pose Prime Minister

The Balkan press is reporting a mixed reaction to the Macedonian government’s announcement yesterday of plans to create a tax haven in that country. While financial experts are reportedly cock-a-hoop about the plan (who doesn’t like a free lunch?), and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (pictured) says that the tax haven will boost employment, others are concerned that illicit money will flow in from the surrounding region. 

One critic, former Macedonian Governor, Petar Goshev, has warned about the possibility that illegal capital pouring in the country will damage the rating of Macedonia’s economy, and jeopardise the country’s aspirations to  join the European Union.

It is hard to find any positives about this proposal.  The Cypriot experience should have set warning lights flashing in Skopje 18 months ago (see here and here).  In too many cases the employment creation benefits ex-pat lawyers, bankers, accountants and tax specialists, and has damaging knock-on effects elsewhere in the economy, not least in the housing markets.

To make matters worse, Prime Minister Gruevski’s suggestion that following the laws and regulations of the United States, Germany and Britain (ranked 6th, 8th and 21st respectively on our Financial Secrecy Index) will boost the credibility of the proposal, in practice achieves the exact opposite.  Macedonia is henceforth on our watch list.



Related Posts

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]


Protesting PwC: Professionals Without Conscience

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceThis week is the global week of action for tax justice and on Wednesday 5th April activists from the Tax Justice Network and Methodists for Tax Justice held a protest outside the London offices of Price Waterhouse Coopers. The global week of action for tax justice is happening one year after the release of the […]


Germany moves forward on corporate transparency

ReichstagThe Bundesrat has today voted to recommend implementing a public register of the beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.  Great news from Germany, as the country takes an important step forward towards corporate transparency.


New estimates reveal the extent of tax avoidance by multinationals

Price Waterhouse CoopersNew figures published today by the Tax Justice Network provide a country-level breakdown of the estimated tax losses to profit shifting by multinational companies. Applying a methodology developed by researchers at the International Monetary Fund to an improved dataset, the results indicate global losses of around $500 billion a year. The figures appear in a […]


Banking Secrecy in China, its related territories and Taiwan

Hong Kong from Sky 100Foreword. The Tax Justice Network is a non partisan network of experts working towards transparency, so we do not take any position about countries’ territorial and political claims. However, we do expect countries with a de jure (legal) or de facto (in practice) influence over other territories, to take responsibility for their power. We point […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top