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DN Debate. Stem AMERICA's plundering of european companies

the U.s. government is forcing european companies to pay fines in the billions, after the companies met the amicable settlement with the authorities. One of the companies complied with is Telia, who paid sek 7.7 billion for alleged corruption in Uzbekistan. Ericsson is the closest to on the tour for misstänk corruption, and failing that Swedbank for suspected money laundering. In particular, banks are exposed. The maximum amount of the fine in recent years is approximately sek 80 billion that the French bank BNP Paribas paid for sanktionsbrott.

These fines are paid despite the fact that the suspected offences are not necessarily fully proven, and thus may lack clear connection to the united states.

, which is applied rigorously in american companies. This has put companies at a disadvantage relative to european competitors that won contracts with the help of bribes and continued to do so.

Also, Swedish companies have participated in this. True, said our minister of foreign affairs, Sten Andersson (S), in a much-publicized speech in 1988 that ”vapenaffärsbyken should be washed properly and public” by reason of the Bofors bribery in India. But the statement can be seen as a hallmark of Sweden's hypocrisy in this area. There was no laundry and it was hardly even the sentence: the export of weapons first! After his resignation, noted the then prime minister, Ingvar Carlsson: ”It is clear that it was a case of corruption.”

Sweden should also support the plans for a ”global sanktionsregim” directed against individuals who have committed serious violations of human rights – in line with the USA's ”Magnitskijlag”.

No, the prosecution has either been corrupt business in south Africa, Central europe or the gulf states. Until 1999, in fact, bribes tax-deductible for Swedish corporate business in the rest of the world, unlike the bribery at home. It was the first indictment against the three Teliaanställda as a suspected case of corruption by a larger format lagfördes, however, with an acquittal judgement as a result.

It is the european obenägenheten and the inability to curb this crime seriously, which is the basis for the u.s. action. It is enough to mention the nordic banks 'long-standing money laundering in the Baltic countries in order to understand and appreciate the u.s. authorities' vigorous action.

But it is not the amount that the us government gains draconian? In the light of the storbolagens profits. The sek 7.7 billion, which Telia agreed to pay for the suspected corruption in Uzbekistan corresponds to what the company earns in a quarter, so it is about a hack in the accounts. But of course, the gigantic amounts now end up with the american taxpayer.

the , since the united states applies its law as soon as a payment has passed the u.s. payment system or a server that is on american soil. It will already suspected crime provides the basis for the sanctions. Companies falls to very little, because their global business can be threatened, if they come into conflict with american authorities. They prefer, therefore, a ”voluntary settlement” in front of a lengthy judicial review with uncertain outcome.

It is high time that the european states and the EU tightens its sanctions policy. One way is to vigorously raise the level of fines, because they counted against u.s. fines for the same transactions, with the result that the money stays in european households, rather than that of the us.

An investigation has proposed an increase from 10 million to 100 million, and a gentle splashing amount in this context (SOU 2016:82). It would be better to stipulate a maximum, but let the courts decide, as is done in for example Norway. In any case, should not the maximum amount be set lower than 10 per cent of a company's turnover, which may count against the american claim.

The penalty that the supervisory authority can decide on the amount to 10 percent of a bank's turnover. The fee is not so onerous as one might think, because the four major banks belong to Europe's most profitable; their aggregate income amounted in the year to sek 112 billion, of which about 70-75 per cent is shared out. For example, Swedbank can not be ordered to pay more than four billion just over, while its profit amounted to sek 6.8 billion just for the first quarter of this year.

Some european states have begun to issue heavy sanktionsavgifter, for example, the Dutch prosecutor's office, which last year fined a bank (approximately 7.7 billion) for money laundering, a criminal prosecution that included about a half a billion dollars was a bribe to the Uzbek presidentdottern. The three billion kronor which Telia paid presidentdottern, however, has not been judged to be criminal money laundering.

such A policy should focus on corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, which has beneficial synergies; the fight against one of them puts obstacles in the way of the other.

A role model for the sanctions policy is the EU policy in the field of competition, where american companies fined, for example, Google paid approximately sek 80 billion in fines in the last three years for abuse of its dominant position. A corresponding order on the EU-level sanctions against certain serious economic crime would require a dedicated institutional structure. The control officer should also be harmonised in Europe and strengthened significantly in terms of prevention. The European banking authority should therefore be given a broader role.

Sweden should also support the plans for a ”global sanktionsregim” directed against individuals who have committed serious violations of human rights – in line with the USA's ”Magnitskijlag” – and preferably also against the individuals guilty of corruption and other serious crime. The aim would be to refuse these people to travel to the EU and to freeze their assets in the EU, regardless of where the crimes took place. Citizens of all countries would be blacklisted, even in those who have good relations with the EU, such as the united states.

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