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EU's Moscovici slams Ireland, Netherlands as tax black holes

Staff Writer |
A top EU official accused several European countries, including Ireland and the Netherlands, of being tax policy "black holes" and promised to pressure them to change their ways.

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"Obviously many countries in the European Union are places where aggressive tax optimisation finds its place," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told reporters in Brussels.

"Some European countries are black holes... I want to address this," he added.

Former French finance minister Moscovici spoke ahead of an EU finance ministers meeting in which the bloc was expected to whittle down a month-old blacklist of non-EU tax havens from 17 countries to nine.

When the list was announced in December, NGO Oxfam said four European countries - Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands -- deserved to be on the list if the EU's criteria were being faithfully applied.

Moscovici denied this, but added: "If you realise that the tax flows go to this or that country: Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus (...), let's talk about how to solve things."


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