On Sunday, we liveblogged the European Commission’s “Debate on the Future of Europe” event in Luxembourg. It was a townhall-style debate with Viviane Reding, the Vice-President of the European Commission. Reding, who is from Luxembourg and so was on her home turf that evening, answered questions from an audience on the economic crisis and, more generally, the future of Europe.
We will put the video of the event online soon, but in the meantime you can see a few words about the debate from Viviane Reding below (as well as reading our liveblog here).
During the event, there was a comment from the audience arguing that corruption and tax evasion in some European countries was one of the root causes of the economic crisis in Europe, and it should be up to individual member states to solve their own problems:
We have to stop with all this ‘solidarity’ nonsense! The countries responsible for these problems should put their own houses in order.
Tackling tax evasion seems to be high on the political agenda at the moment, and it was one of the main themes of the recent G8 summit in Lough Erne (you can see European Council President Herman Van Rompuy answering some of your questions on the G8 summit in our recent interview). But just how big a problem is tax avoidance and evasion in Europe?
The infographic below sets out some of the facts and figures around Europe’s shadow economy of tax evasion and avoidance (most of the figures are, for obvious reasons, only estimates).