Does a million euros matter? Open the books vs. corporate lobbyists

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If you are a campesino in Peru or an artisinal miner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, payments to your government of ‘a few’ thousand dollars really matter.  If this money goes astray, then citizens lose out permanently.  When the profits that your company makes are close to $40 billion in one year, then I suppose $1 million or even 1 million Euros might seem like small change. 

EU Ministers meet in Brussels next week to discuss vital proposals requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish details of the payments they make for each country and project where they operate.  Representatives of big oil and mining companies have been arguing that they shouldn’t  have to report payments below 1 million Euros.  Setting the bar that high would gut the value of the hard-won proposals.

This week the Publish What You Pay coalition in the US highlighted how industry lobbying has already delayed rules to implement the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.  In the light of record profits for oil and gas companies,  EU Ministers need to ensure that their own proposals to open the books are meaningful for poor citizens in resource rich countries.  Let’s set the bar for reporting so that transparency means something for them.  Take CAFOD’s Open The books action today at:

http://www.cafod.org.uk/take-action/open-up-the-books

 

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