The watchdog Reporters Without Borders specifically cites the decision to convict former PwC employees Antoine Deltour (pictured) and Raphaël Halet as hurting Luxembourg’s image.
(Photo : Sven Becker / archives)
“Luxembourg’s image has been tarnished”
Luxembourg’s global score for press freedom has slipped slightly, according to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, released on 25 April by Reporters Without Borders.
“Luxembourg’s image has been tarnished by the decision to convict the two whistleblowers, former PwC employees Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, who exposed the grand duchy’s intricate system of tax avoidance for multinationals,” the watchdog reports.
Although Luxembourg holds the same ranking it did in 2016 (15th), its global score declined by 0.29 points (from 14.72 in 2016).
According to the report, “It was clear that Luxembourg was more concerned about deterring media coverage of its tax avoidance facilities than protecting the public’s right to information.”
Commonplace attacks on media
The concern for press freedom doesn’t just apply to Luxembourg. Both Britain and the US slipped two notches in the rankings, to 40th and 43rd, respectively. Even Canada fell four places to 22nd of 180 countries. There’s more “media bashing” in the Trump area and post-Brexit Britain.
Reporters Without Borders stated on its website that the 2017 index “reflects a world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise,” adding: “What is striking in this year’s Index is the scale and the nature of the violations seen.”