Panama hopes that France will withdraw from the list of tax havens, using the negotiations to begin on 17 January, said the Vice President on Sunday, Isabel de Saint Malo, quoted by AFP.

We keep hoping that we will reach a solution or at least a roadmap”, said Isabel de Saint Malo in an interview with Panama news channel PRC.

The first meeting between the French authorities and those in Panama is appointed on 17 January.

If France does not withdraw Panama from the list of tax havens, ”Panama will prove toughness and will take appropriate action” added Vice-President, without giving more details.

Isabel de Saint Malo also said that France has made Panama a “scapegoat” in the international fight against money laundering.

Opening the talks between the two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in tax matters it was announced in early January.

The negotiations launched at the initiative of the French Ministry of Economy, aims to set the course of tax cooperation between the two countries, announced at the time the authorities in Panama.

France decided earlier in April 2016 to rejoin the list of uncooperative territories in Panama, a measure which entered into force on January 1.

This decision was taken following the revelations of scandal Panama Papers. These documents bring into question hundreds of personalities from around the world who have opened accounts in tax havens by using a law firm in Panama, Mossack Fonseca.

Panama signed in October 2016 the multilateral agreement against tax fraud drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The agreement requires the submission of any tax information to all signatory countries that make a request to that effect. Aside from Panama, other 104 countries have signed the convention, recalled AFP