European Parliament blacklists Tunisia for moneylaundering and terrorism

'Unfair' decision - Tunis govt

07 February, 20:13

    STRASBOURG / TUNIS - Tunisia has been added to the EU's blacklist for countries held to be at high risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. Some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), according to a statement issued by the European Parliament, had tried to reach an absolute majority of 376 votes to prevent the country's inclusion on the list but were unsuccessful. Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago have thus been added to a European Commission list of non-EU countries that are believed ''to have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regimes''.

    The voting reflects a division in the Parliament on the issue, with 357 votes supporting the motion, 283 against and 26 abstentions. The MEPs that presented the proposal focused their opposition on Tunisia's inclusion. They believe that the North African nation does not deserve to be included on the list since it is a democratic state that needs support and that the list does not take into consideration the recent progress made to strengthen the country's financial system against criminal activity.

    Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said his country would "continue to fight for Tunisia not to be included unfairly on blacklists".  "Including Tunisia on these lists does not take into account
    the economic peculiarities of the country and the continual structural reforms," he added.

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