MALTA: The Netherlands to approve tax agreement between Curaçao and Malta despite concerns

As published on: newsbook.com, Wednesday 12 June, 2024. 

Curaçaoan MPs express concern over whether Malta has implemented sufficient anti-money laundering legislation.

Despite reservations, the Dutch Chamber of Deputies is expected to approve a tax agreement between Curaçao and Malta today. Curaçao is a Caribbean island and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Scepticism about the utility of this agreement has been voiced not only by Dutch parliamentarians but also by Giselle McWilliam, the leader of the Movementu Alsa Nashon (MAN) party, and a member of the Parliament of Curaçao, who participated as a special delegate during the most recent debate on the law.

McWilliam expressed concern on whether Malta has implemented sufficient measures against money laundering. “We believe that before the agreement is approved, there should be a thorough investigation on the potential negative effects on Curaçao’s economy,” she stated.

She added that another topic of concern is whether the agreement could involuntarily cause harm to the online gambling sector. “While the maritime sector, tourism and aviation may benefit, the agreement could make the gambling sector less secure,” said McWilliam.

She expressed these concerns based on the fact that Malta was rebuked on this topic in 2021. “The New Social Party rightly asked if this agreement could result in profits being transferred to other countries. We are expressing these concerns and appeal for thorough research into potential effects”.

Member of Parliament and Curaçaoan Minister for Foreign Affairs Bruins Slot, and Curaçaoan Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs Van Rij spoke of the fact that Curaçao is an autonomous country that should be able to decide itself whether or not to participate in the agreement.

“Malta has a dubious international reputation and limited economic ties to Curaçao. It is a country that depends significantly on the online gambling industry, sells European passports to millionaires outside of the EU. Its ex-prime minister is currently facing charges of corruption. Why don’t we choose a neighbouring country or a country with stronger economic ties to the country, like the United States, Venezuela, or Colombia for our first tax agreement?”

Despite these concerns, the chamber is expected to move the agreement to the next stage.


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