Saturday

19th Aug 2017

Rehn: Cyprus must act on money laundering

  • Rehn's remarks give the lie to Cypriot claims that money laundering is a non-issue (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

EU financial affairs commissioner Olli Rehn has joined calls for Cyprus to stop bank fraud if it wants EU help.

Speaking in German daily Handelsblatt on Friday (11 January), he said Cyprus has adopted international rules on anti-money-laundering "[but] these laws actually have to be applied. I am aware of the problems."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He noted that Peer Steinbruck - the German centre-left SPD party's candidate in autumn elections - told him "personally" on Tuesday he will oppose the bailout unless Cyprus cleans up its act.

"I believe we can address the concerns of the SPD ... [it] will agree to the Cyprus bailout in the end, if we find a compelling solution which is acceptable to the [German] taxpayer and which helps us to finally overcome the problem of money laundering," Rehn said.

The commissioner's remarks give the lie to Cypriot claims that money laundering and tax evasion are not part of EU negotiations on its potential €17 billion rescue.

The small island nation has a large offshore banking sector which is popular with Russian and Ukrainian businessmen.

It is also fighting proposals that its foreign creditors should suffer a "haircut" on their money on the model of the Greek bailout.

Under German law, the Bundestag has to approve any EU rescue deal.

But if the SPD and other bailout sceptics - the left-wing Die Linke party, the Greens and rebel MPs in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition - oppose the deal, the government will not get it through.

SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday also told press that Cyprus has not done enough to merit help.

Merkel herself on Thursday noted: "There can be no special conditions for Cyprus because we have common rules in Europe that are valid for everyone."

Merkel warns Cyprus not to expect special treatment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Cyprus it should not expect special treatment when negotiating the terms of its bailout, which she suggested would not be concluded anytime soon.

Investigation

Cyprus launches probe into Russian mafia money

Cyprus has opened an investigation into evidence that stolen Russian tax money linked to the murder of Sergei Magnitsky was laundered through its banks.

EU proposes €5mn fines for money laundering

Individual staff should be fined up to €5 million and firms, such as banks, should be fined 10 percent of turnover for flouting anti-money-laundering laws, the EU says.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides