Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is under fire over his former government’s connection to a so-called “freeport” which risks enabling money laundering and corruption.
In letters seen by The Telegraph, Mr Juncker has been told he is “morally and ethically” obliged to crack down on a legal loophole that potentially facilitates money laundering at the site next to Luxembourg Airport.
Le Freeport Luxembourg is a high-security facility for the storage of valuables indefinitely, including art, gems, gold, antiques and wine. Built while Mr Juncker was Luxembourg’s prime minister, it is exempt from the country’s usual tax and customs requirements.
Being exempt from the usual tax and customs requirements is the definition of a freeport. It’s an entirely normal construct too – the metals business relies upon a network of such around the world – LME warehouses are all outside local customs and tax. Equally, the booze and baccy industries rely upon bonded warehouses, the same legal construct.
What is it that is actually being blethered about here?