Saturday

21st Oct 2017

Cyprus to give EU journalists free bank accounts

The incoming Cypriot EU presidency is to give Brussels-based journalists free offshore bank accounts to defend the island's reputation as a tax haven.

Back before the financial crisis, presidencies used to give the Brussels press corps little souvenirs of their time at the EU helm, such as a USB stick or a tie in the colours of the national flag.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

Then it all stopped - Denmark even served tap water at media events to mark the age of austerity.

Now, with the financial crisis over, Cyprus, which begins its EU presidency in July, is to revive the custom with a goodie bag containing something useful - documents that give each reporter access to his or her own offshore account in Ruskicomercbanka, a firm domiciled in Koufalitsa Street, Nicosia.

"We chose a Russian-owned bank to celebrate our history of co-operation with Russian oligarchs. We also wanted to thank Moscow for that no-strings-attached bail-out," Cypriot spokesman Stavros Aprilfoolodopoulos told EUobserver, referring to Russia's offer last year of a €2.5 billion loan.

He noted that many reporters make a bit on the side by freelancing, but Belgian income tax is quite high.

He added that it normally takes a few hundred euros and a bit of annoying paperwork to set up an account in Cyprus.

Meanwhile, with Nicosia recently agreeing to anti-tax-avoidance rules in the Paris-based economic club, the OECD, and pledging allegiance to the European Commission's new-and-improved savings tax directive, its EU presidency gift also has another side.

"People are starting to say: 'Hold on. Maybe they are serious about stopping tax cheats? Maybe we should go to Panama or somewhere instead?'," the Cypriot spokesman explained.

"With this small gesture, we want EU press to tell the world: 'Relax. Cyprus might sign this or that bit of paper. But in reality, it's business as usual'."

Cyprus to get 'no strings attached' Russian bail-out

Eurozone member Cyprus is set to join Greece, Ireland and Portugal by seeking external aid to prop-up its finances. But unlike the EU and IMF bailout packages, its loan is to come from Russia with "no strings attached".

Cyprus best place to bathe in the EU

The quality of bathing waters at the seaside and by rivers and lakes is gradually decreasing, with Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece scoring best, while beaches in Romania, Poland and Belgium are deemed worst, an EU report shows.

Investigation

The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals

Klaus Mangold, a German businessman with good connections in Russia, and who provided a jet for Commission vice-president Guenther Oettinger, played a crucial role in Hungary's controversial Paks nuclear deal with Russia, Direkt36's investigation has found.

Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  4. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  6. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  8. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  10. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  11. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  12. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!

Latest News

  1. The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
  4. Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
  7. Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
  8. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks