Following Jacques Attali’s weekly L’Express column titled “When Can We Expect the London Papers?”, on April 17 Le Monde also went gunning for the City of London in a full-page story titled “Offshore Havens, the Jewels of the British Empire.”
Led off with the kicker,
this article goes in detail to explain that the City is the result of “feudal” and “imperial” legacies. The whole picture is completed by close-ups of the British Overseas Territories serving as tax havens; territories under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom — Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Gibraltar, Anguilla and Montserrat islands. And, some of the Crown Dependencies which belong directly to the British Crown, are not part of the United Kingdom, or the EU; such as The Isle of Man, and The Channel Islands (Guernsey & Jersey).
The page is spiced up with detailed information: How “since the Middle Ages,” the City has had a specific status obtained from King John Lackland, granting it autonomy and a favorable tax law; how the ideal tools for tax evasion, the “trusts,” go back to “the times of the Crusades,” when those leaving for the Orient entrusted their wealth to a “trusted” third-party manager; and how under the Empire, the British or foreign companies based in Britain were given “non-resident” fiscal status, which granted the leaders of companies based outside of Britain an exemption from taxes.