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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 09/02/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 09/02/2021

Politico – Hannah Brenton / Luxembourg rejects tax-haven accusations in news investigation

  • The Luxembourg government denied news reports Monday that the country has provided a tax haven to corporations and the wealthy in the reopening of a half-decade-old scandal.
  • The OpenLux investigation, by media organizations including Le Monde in France and Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, reported that politicians, celebrities, multinational companies and royal families funneled money through Luxembourg to lower their tax bills and avoid scrutiny.
  • “Luxembourg rejects the claims made in these articles as well as the entirely unjustified portrayal of the country and its economy,” the government said in a statement. It sought to rebut allegations of shortcomings in its anti-money laundering rules or tax practices.
  • The investigation, which trawled through Luxembourg’s register of beneficial owners, found 90 percent of companies in the grand duchy had foreign owners.
  • OCCRP – Antonio Baquero, Maxime Vaudano and Cecilia Anesi / Shedding light on big secrets in tiny Luxembourg

Vox – Jen Kirby / Tens of thousands rise up against the coup in Myanmar

  • Tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Myanmar’s cities for three days as resistance mounts to the military’s takeover last week.
  • Demonstrators are demanding that the results of the most recent election be honored and civilian government restored, after the military’s coup last week that led to the arrest of hundreds of pro-democracy leaders, including the country’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Monday saw the largest demonstrations so far, with protesters swarming the streets in Yangon, the country’s largest city, and far beyond. Reports indicate a wide swath of people joined in the demonstrations, from young activists to Buddhist monks to teachers, and many more.
  • Some activists have called for a general strike this week, though it’s not clear how widely that message has circulated, compared to the outpouring on the streets. Many demonstrators wore red, the color of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, which overwhelmingly won a popular mandate in the last election.
  • The Economist / Myanmar: “A coup is worse than covid. I’ve lived through three”

The New York Times – Steven Erlanger and Megan Specia / Germany, Sweden and Poland expel Russian diplomats in retaliatory move

  • Germany, Poland and Sweden announced a coordinated, tit-for-tat expulsion of three Russian diplomats on Monday, in retaliation for Moscow’s decision last week to expel diplomats from the three countries for monitoring the protests that followed the jailing of the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny.
  • But Moscow’s actions were judged by experts to be more serious, since they represented a calculated insult to the European Union and its foreign-policy chief, who was engaged in a news conference with his Russian counterpart when the expulsions were revealed.
  • Russia accused the diplomats of participating in the protests, which the three nations, all members of the European Union, denied. After Russia refused to reverse the expulsions, on Monday, all three nations responded in traditional diplomatic fashion by each expelling a Russian diplomat.
  • Russia and the European Union “are drifting apart,” Mr. Borrell said. “It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe and looking at democratic values as an existential threat.”
  • The Guardian / Germany, Poland and Sweden expel Russian diplomats

Bloomberg – Ezra Fieser / One million Venezuelan migrants offered protection by Colombia

  • Nearly one million Venezuelans residing in Colombia will be offered legal status that will allow them to work formally and access public services.
  • The so-called Temporary Protected Status will allow the majority of the 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants who are in Colombia without permission to legalize their position for ten years.
  • The “massive arrival” of undocumented Venezuelans is distorting the labor market and reducing their ability to contribute to the economy or pay taxes, the presidency said in a statement.
  • Venezuelans who are already in the country legally don’t have to apply for the new status, President Duque said. The collapse of the Venezuelan economy in recent years has led more than five million people to flee from hunger and chaos back home.
  • Al Jazeera – Steven Grattan / Colombia to grant temporary protection to nearly 1m Venezuelans

Today’s role model:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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