Dividend-stripping fleecing European states

Eleven European countries have been deprived of taxes to the tune of 55.2 billion euros due to dividend-stripping schemes. The scale of this kind of deal in which packages of shares are unlawfully shoved back and forth in order to gain dividends is far greater than previously known. For commentators it's clear who will pay the price.

Open/close all quotes
Politiken (DK) /

Hold the bankers accountable

Politiken demands tough action regarding the banks:

“What we have here is a direct attack on the root of society. It seems that the greed of the financial sector has spiralled completely out of control. The states must regain a hold over a financial sector that has too much power and isn't able to control itself. This will necessitate targeted measures including stricter checks, closer international cooperation and far tougher penalties - including for knowing bank employees and not least for senior management. In the absence of personal responsibility the urgently needed change of culture is hard to imagine.”

Sydsvenskan (SE) /

A dangerous loss of trust

The banks are only harming themselves with such scandals, Sydsvenskan believes:

“Merely the supposition that the banks could be involved in shady deals is harmful. ... The banks' share prices could drop, and customers could take their money elsewhere. ... It's alarming when the general public believes that banks lie and cheat, that they're unscrupulous and that they always get off scot-free. Under these circumstances normal taxpayers will hardly be willing to help bail out a bank that's important for society as a whole.”