Letter to Amol Rajan, Editor of The Independent.
Your Headlines in today's newspaper and online, "Channel Tunnel Accused of 'outrageous' tax avoidance" and "The Eurobond tax scandal: Channel Tunnel Accused of 'outrageous' tax avoidance", are misleading, show an extraordinary disregard for factual reporting and are completely unacceptable. Further, the use of an image of a Eurotunnel Shuttle at the Channel Tunnel portal, with the logo clearly visible, compounds your error.
You have identified the "Channel Tunnel" in your headlines whilst the article is clearly concerned with other, completely separate transport infrastructures, notably HS1, a railway line running across the Kent countryside carrying high speed trains between London and Folkestone.
The Channel Tunnel is, by contrast, an undersea tunnel connecting Great Britain to France, below the English Channel operating shuttle services for cars and trucks and providing access to rail freight and high speed passenger trains.
The operator of the Channel Tunnel is Groupe Eurotunnel SA (GET SA), an independent, privately owned French company, based in Paris. Groupe Eurotunnel SA fully respects both French and UK tax legislation, paying all the tax it owes.
The irresponsible confusion that you have caused tars the image of the Channel Tunnel and Eurotunnel as its operator, is damaging to our reputation and potentially harmful to our business.
At the very least I expect you immediately to correct the headlines and publish an apology in your online edition and to publish an apology in tomorrow's newspaper, explaining your error and completely exonerating Eurotunnel of any wrongdoing.
I would also expect a letter of apology from you to our shareholders.
GET will monitor public reaction and its shareprice closely over the following days and will not hesitate to seek recourse if your actions are shown to have a negative impact on our public and financial reputation.
UK Public Affairs Director of Eurotunnel Group