Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia finance minister Norbert Walter-Borjans claimed that Malta has become the Panama of Europe after a data leak revealed by German Journalists that there are 70,000 offshore companies in Malta. In response, Ministry of Finance informed that public register can be accessed online while its Finance Minister Edward Scicluna tweets "Pull another one".
In a press release, Mr Walter Borjan's ministry said that "The data reveals how corporations and private persons on the Mediterranean island use company braids to bypass tax in Germany in a big way." He said the NRW government would be passing on data about foreign corporations mentioned in the leak to their respective governments.
It has been claimed that there are multiple German companies and up to 2000 German taxpayers currently registered in Malta.
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna dismissed Mr Walter-Borjan's claims and suggested that the German politician was guilty of hyperbole. "Pull another one," Prof. Scicluna wrote on Twitter. "Since when the whole Maltese company register of Maltese registered companies becomes foreign, offshore and German?"
On Thursday, May 11, Maltese Ministry of Finance released a press release clarifying that the register of companies is a public register and is available to the public online and that the number of companies registered over the years has reached around 80,000, of which, as of today 53,000 are still on the register. "Malta does not have an offshore company register. It is therefore clear that whoever is making such claims is grossly misinformed," the Ministry said.
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