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Luxembourg tax scandal aimed at new European Commission chief — Russian diplomat

November 11, 2014, 11:42 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Political culture in modern Western Europe is so that, such exposures become ordinary things if a strong personality appears on the political arena, Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said
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European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker

European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

BRUSSELS, November 11. /TASS/. The scandal over tax deals in Luxembourg is directed against the European Commission's new President Jean-Claude Juncker, who formerly served as the prime minister of the Grand Duchy, Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Tuesday.

“The fact that this story has come up now, I can say, is not surprising for me. One could have expected something like this,” the diplomat said in an interview with TASS.

“Political culture in modern Western Europe is so that, unfortunately, such exposures become ordinary things, especially, if a strong personality appears on the political arena,” Chizhov said.

The Russian diplomat said the reputation of Juncker, the longest-serving head of any national government in the EU (from 1995 to 2013), and his current status “will allow him to overcome this case.”

The US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed last week that Luxembourg has brokered secret deals with 340 major companies to help them avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The news caused a public outcry in European media as it contradicted earlier statements of the country’s leadership of plans to end the so-called “tax haven” practice, which were made when Juncker served as the prime minister.

Juncker, who assumed office of the European Commission head on November 1, succeeding Jose Manuel Barroso, promised not to interfere with the investigation into the tax deals.

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