March 27, 2009

Sarkozy threatens to drop princely title

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is prepared to renounce his princely title in the country of Andorra if banking changes do not take place, an official says.

French Minister for Family Affairs Nadine Morano said Thursday if officials in the Principality of Andorra do not change the country's secretive banking laws, Sarkozy will officially drop his title of Andorra co-prince, the EU Observer reported Friday.

Sarkozy currently shares princely honors in Andorra with the Bishop Joan Enric Vives Sicilia of Spain. The Pyrenees country is located between France and Spain and has been jointly ruled for centuries by both European countries.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation has added Andorra to its notorious blacklist of alleged tax havens, The Observer said.

The EU publication said Sarkozy was reportedly overheard at a meeting Wednesday criticizing such tax havens.

I want a list of tax havens and I want them to be sanctioned, Sarkozy reportedly said. I don't want banks to keep working with the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Macao. Otherwise, I will resign from my post of co-prince of Andorra.