History is made as Vox Political agrees with David Cameron


Jean-Claude Juncker, tax avoidance mastermind and now President of the European Commission.

Jean-Claude Juncker, tax avoidance mastermind and now President of the European Commission.

Believe it or not, David Cameron was right to oppose the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission.

If Private Eye is to be believed, Juncker has a record of wreaking fiscal havoc across the continent, thanks to his behaviour embracing corporate tax dodgers as finance minister and prime minister of Luxembourg.

Anti-EU readers will be interested to note that he was chair of the EU’s council of economic and financial affairs, in which role he played a key part in shaping the economic and monetary aspects of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.

Eye 1368 (June 13-26) states that Luxembourg has turned itself into a tax haven, “but, crucially, one at the heart of Europe entitled to tax-free flows of money in and out of its borders in a way traditional sunny island havens… could only dream of.

“The Grand Duchy became the member of the economic club that pilfered from the club’s funds.”

Let’s look at examples: “An especially fruitful line has been multi-billion-pound corporate tax avoidance at its neighbours’ expense. In the most infamous case, Vodafone still routes more than £50bn worth of loans through Luxembourg for no purpose other than taking advantage of tax laws and administrative rulings carefully tailored by Juncker’s governments to facilitate large-scale tax avoidance… The company is sitting on a £17.4 billion “tax asset”, ie reduction in future tax bills around the world, courtesy of [Mr] Juncker.

“Hundreds of other multinationals, including the UK’s Glaxo, Tesco and Financial Times publisher Pearson, use Luxembourg in similar ways at enormous cost to Europe’s economies.”

And the buck doesn’t stop rolling with tax, either: “Juncker pursued an aggressive regime of financial deregulation, especially in the area of investment fund administration. So it was no surprise that when Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008, a large chunk of the money had come through loosely-regulated Luxembourg funds set up by Swiss banks.”

The man responsible for the above is now in charge of the European Union. David Cameron was right to oppose his appointment.

Be afraid.

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  1. ellie guest June 28, 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply

    his behaviour embracing corporate tax dodgers , like Blair and Cameron haven’t ?


    • Mike Sivier June 28, 2014 at 10:59 am - Reply

      I don’t think you understand. As President of the Commission, he’ll have opportunities to make matters very much better for big business – and very much worse for the likes of you and I.

  2. Pete June 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Agree that Juncker is not a good choice – but tax dodging and favouring big business are not the reasons Cameron opposes him are they? Cameron’s agin him because he believes Juncker wants closer political union within the EU. He’s agin the selection process because it involves voting within the EU rather than agreement by heads of governments (such as himself). Luxembourg is certainly a major centre for money laundering, secrecy and tax-dodging – but it’s small potatoes compared with the City of London, UK overseas dependencies such the Cayman and British Virgin Isles and Crown dependencies like Jersey.
    On a different tack an EU president isn’t at all the same as e.g. a US one is it? He will of course be able to set agendas – but not much more and not exclusively. Isn’t the real power with the commissioners, who are yet to be appointed and whose appointment will be without the naughty voting that our PM is fighting against?

    • Mike Sivier June 28, 2014 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      If the real power is with the Commission, then the President of the Commission – Juncker – has SUPREME power, I would’ve thought.
      You make a good point about Cameron’s motives but I don’t believe they’ll matter in the long run. History won’t care why he opposed Juncker – only that he chose to do so and it was the right decision.

      • Pete June 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm - Reply

        As I said – I don’t the Commission President is *that* powerful. He (always, so far) doesn’t choose commissioners – they are nominated (not elected) by each state. The Pres. allocates portfolios – that’s his main power – but his choice has to be approved by Euro Parliament. Once in place, he can’t remove commissioners. In practice there’s a lot of politicking about which state will get which portfolio. Having been slapped down as we have been, it may well be that we will be offered one of the more powerful portfolios in compensation.

  3. Graham Cordwell June 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Big Dave was/is just grandstanding for the Tory backbenchers, grandees and special interests (ie. big finance). He knew he was never going to win over the other heads of state, except Hungary who hate Junkers for their own reasons, so why pick the fight? The answer is to make himself look tough to his own audience and try and win voters from UKIP. Did I mention that there is a general election next year! Mending fences with the EU is not a priority at this time, too much to hide behind the headlines that the right biased media will milk with relish for weeks.

    • Mike Sivier June 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      As I say, motive doesn’t matter in the long run.

  4. Daily Nanna (@Nanna_Baps) June 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    If David Cameron is right about anything, it only serves to give credence to the old axiom that even a stopped clock can be right, twice a day. It is on this basis alone that I can be persuaded to give even the slightest attention to any words that issue out of the mouths of members of the Conservative Party.

  5. jaypot2012 June 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Cameron will never have a referendum to leave the EU and that is more important than Junker. I don’t believe he is the right choice for President of the EU (a job that Blair actually dreamed of being in years gone by), but he has been appointed and now we need to get on with it or get out – option 2 is the best way for the UK but the rich don’t want to get out as they want yet more money!
    Fook knows why the rich want to get even richer, they all die in the end and they can’t take the money with them – in a couple of generations they won’t even be thought of!

  6. jaypot2012 June 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:

  7. Lloyd Kennedy June 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    And Cameron et al are no doubt taking advantage of these tax regulations as well .

  8. Pete June 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I think we’ve rather lost the point about the complaints against Cameron – and I think that’s because he wants us to. All the main UK parties are against Juncker. A number of other EU countries seemed to be anti as well – Sweden for one – and the way the voting works is that that a simple majority doesn’t win. Cameron could have blocked Juncker if he had been able to put together a significant minority of votes against him. The complaint against Cameron is that he spectacularly failed to do that, getting just one single vote. His failure was as a statesman and a diplomat – but he’s trying to play it as ‘me sticking up against Juncker no matter what’ ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ etc. There’s a lefty view here http://labourlist.org/2014/06/why-cameron-has-failed-so-badly-over-juncker/

  9. jess June 29, 2014 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Cameron, initially, offered to support Junckers’ candidacy if Lansley was given the ‘Reform’ portfolio in the Commission, according to this;

    “The British position that the EPP leading candidate Jean-Claude Juncker for Commission President is not fit for the job is undermined by reports that London would accept the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg to lead the EU executive, if the British commissioner is given charge of a “cluster” of key portfolios, EurActiv has learned.

    Prime Minister David Cameron wants Andrew Lansley, the future UK Commissioner, to be given the post of Commission Vice President, overseeing a “cluster” comprising the commissioners in charge of internal market, competition, trade and energy. In addition, London wants the post of Commission Secretary General for a British national, and other “small things”, two sources told this website.”

    Juncker thought Cameron was a buffoon

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