"Tunisia's blacklisting as country at risk of money laundering is not a sanction" (EU ambassador) [Upd 1] | Tunisia News Gazette

“Tunisia’s blacklisting as country at risk of money laundering is not a sanction” (EU ambassador) [Upd 1]

“Tunisia’s blacklisting as country at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing is not a sanction, it is not a new sanction, it s’ rather an opportunity to move towards greater vigilance and efficiency in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing

We will work together with the Tunisian authorities to remove the country from this blacklist next summer, Patrice Bergamini, ambassador of the European Union in Tunisia said Wednesday in Tunis.

Speaking to reporters at the headquarters of the EU Delegation in Tunis, Bergamini made it clear that the vote of the European Parliament has no connection with Tunisia’s blacklisting as tax haven. This is not a sanction or a new sanction, he insisted.

The parliament has taken this decision, which transposes into national law, concerning Tunisia’s classification by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), which has been working for a long time on the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The FATF is not only the European Union; it is 35 countries including 15 European countries and other countries including the US, China, Japan, Canada and others, explained the EU ambassador in Tunisia.

He added that the FATF has worked well with European officials to identify risks and submitted its report and recommendations on November 3, 2017.

“There is no need for media agitations and particular nervousness. This vigilance and this information have been there since November 3. Today, it is simply a vote of the European Parliament, which by European legislation has to transpose this new classification into European internal law. “

“We all know that the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing are priorities for Tunisia, and we are all convinced of the need to assist and support Tunisia in this struggle.

It is an opportunity to become more vigilant and more effective in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing; we must ensure that the financial circuits are not opaque and that the creation of wealth is not artificial and it benefits the economy of Tunisia and job creation, “he insisted.

Speaking about Tunisia’s blacklisting as tax haven, he said “we have solved this problem on the basis of the commitments of the Tunisian government.

Today, regarding this issue which is more serious than tax evasion and that is money laundering, we know that Tunisia is on the right side but we must move forward with structural changes and reforms to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

“The commitments are there and I am convinced that together we will work to assist and support Tunisia in its work of legislative and structural reforms that will send to the FATF, in the coming weeks, the right signals to end up with a new classification of the country by next summer or at the end of spring.

“Everything depends on the will and the voluntarism of the Tunisian authorities,” said the European official, noting that “Tunisia’s removal from the blacklist of tax havens proves, on the one hand, the voluntarism of the Tunisian authorities and the other, the desire of the European Union to continue to be always alongside Tunisia “.

Bergamini was optimistic. “We must not focus only on negative signals, there are also positive signals. The vote of the European Parliament is only an opportunity to move towards real change, “he concluded.

Source: TAP news Agency

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