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06 December, 2021
 
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MEPs want Pandora audit for Anastasiades

European Parliament calls on member states to crack down on enablers of financial wrongdoing

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A name-and-shame resolution approved by the European Parliament on Thursday pointed to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and other leaders mentioned in the Pandora Papers, with calls on member states to carry out thorough investigations of alleged wrongdoing as well as close loopholes on offshore dealings.

The non-binding resolution, which was adopted 578-28 with 79 abstentions, urged national EU authorities to launch thorough investigations of any wrongdoing revealed in the Pandora Papers involving their jurisdictions, including audits on all individuals mentioned, including Anastasiades.

Pandora Papers refer to a cache of leaked documents that allegedly reveal offshore transactions involving global political and business figures.

'The President not only does he not refuse an investigation but welcomes it so that the truth will shine, but also to disclaim once again those who throw mud for political survival'

Anastasiades' ex law firm in Limassol, Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners, appears in the Pandora Papers as having been accused of filing false information to Alcogal, a Panamanian offshore company broker that reported to authorities a suspicion that this had been done to hide assets of a controversial Russian billionaire.

The Cypriot president, who says he left the firm before he ever became president, has denied any wrongdoing in statements he made immediately following the revelations.

“I have no knowledge and it would be impossible for me to know and be in a position to respond to any allegations concerning the handling of the affairs of my ex-law firm,” Anastasiades had told The Guardian.

MEPs also call on the European Commission to review the Pandora revelations and examine whether further legislation ought to seek legal action against member states that fail to crack down on enablers of financial wrongdoing, including law firms and broker agencies.

The original draft did not include name references but those were later added in by parties on the left, prompting an intense debate with conservatives who attempted to remove them but did not get support.

Cypriot left party AKEL had said “elsewhere there would be a resignation,” prompting government spokesperson Marios Pelekanos to react and accuse the opposition of playing dirty.

"The President not only does he not refuse an investigation but welcomes it so that the truth will shine," Pelekanos said, adding "but also to disclaim once again those who throw mud for political survival.”

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