TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The European Commission added Saudi Arabia, Panama, Nigeria and other jurisdictions to its blacklist of countries considered a threat because of weak control over terrorism funding and money laundering.
This is part of the money laundering measures following a number of scandals at EU banks.
The inclusion of Saudi in the blacklist is criticized by several EU countries, including the UK, who fears for their economic ties with registered countries—especially Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters, February 14.
The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this list. Meanwhile, Panama says its country must be removed from the list because it recently adopted stronger rules for money laundering.
Despite pressure to exclude Saudi Arabia from the list, the EU commission decided otherwise.
The 28 member countries of the European Union now have one month, which can be extended to two, to support or reject the list.
Britain has led the opposition over the blacklist, and at closed meetings urged for the exclusion of Saudi Arabia, EU sources said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the main importer of goods and weapons from the European Union. Some of UK's top banks operate there, including the Royal Bank of Scotland—the European bank with the largest turnover in Saudi Arabia.
Eka Yudha Saputra | REUTERS