Week 6: Villain – Stefano Pessina

by Jackie_South on February 8, 2015

Pessina_VillainThis week ,our regular award for the worst villain of the last seven days goes to Steno Pessina, the Monegasque tax-dodging boss of Alliance Boots

It goes without saying that Stefano Pessina is an obnoxious specimen of a man: anyone who changes their nationality to dodge tax (Pessina was born and raised in Italy, but is now a citizen of Monaco) is self-evidently a mercenary scumbag. The fact that this scumbag also bought out British Boots and moved its headquarters from Nottingham (where it had been for 158 years) to Bern, Switzerland, to ensure it was ‘tax-efficient’ shows that he is equally disloyal to the countries he operates in.

Neither Pessina nor Alliance Boots pay all the tax they should (morally, if not legally). He has been called out on this not only by Ed Miliband but also government ministers.

You would think that given this grand larceny, Pessina would have the sense to keep a low profile. Instead, he decided to attack Labour in an interview in the Telegraph, apparently orchestrated by George Osborne. He said that Labour’s policies were “not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end it probably won’t be helpful for them”. He also said “If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe”.

Presumably, the catastrophe to Pessina would be to him personally: making him pay more of the tax he should be giving to the British Exchequer.

But at least his intervention has drawn the spotlight on not only his own dodginess but also reminds us that a once great British company has been hived off to a Swiss tax haven, and so no longer gives back to the nation and their own customers in the way it had for generations. It is also a reminder of how weak we are about these things in Britain (to their shame, the move happened under Labour): the USA stopped a similar manoeuvre by Pessina over their largest chemist, Walgreens, insisting that it remained headquartered in Chicago.

Here’s our message to Pessina – you’ve picked your country – you can have your say in how Monaco is run, but butt out of British politics.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tedderman February 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

The changes being made at Walgreen’s is decimating it’s core customers. The company now uses a “secret checklist” to deny the most needy customers needed medications. Here’s the leaked checklist: http://www.wthr.com/story/23469086/2013/09/18/walgreens-secret-checklist-reveals-controversial-new-policy-on-pain-pills

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