by Staff Writers
Tallinn (AFP) Sept 15, 2017
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused US internet giants on Friday of escaping their fair share of taxes in Europe, as he pushed the EU to urgently address the issue.
Big EU countries have become increasingly frustrated that internet giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google escape paying a fair tax by basing their operations in lower-tax EU states such as Ireland and Luxembourg.
"We need to make sure in Europe that all companies are paying their fair share of tax, that is the meaning of our initiative," Le Maire told reporters on the sidelines of talks with his EU counterparts in Tallinn, Estonia.
"You know that this is not the case. That huge companies, huge internet companies are not paying a fair contribution to Europe."
Le Maire said he would formally unveil his proposal on Saturday to reverse the problem.
The plan already has the formal backing of Germany, Spain and Italy with Bulgaria, Austria, Greece and Latvia also ready to come on board.
Le Maire said this reform would ensure that internet giants pay tax where they earn revenue, instead of on profits booked in their EU member state headquarters of choice.
"Our proposal is simple. It is to tax the turnover at member state level of the largest internet companies," he said.
European regulators have become increasingly aggressive against US technology giants seen by officials as gaining too much power, with Amazon and Apple also facing scrutiny.
Le Maire insisted that his initiative was in no way anti-American and would not punish innovation.
"Of course we welcome these companies in France and in Europe," he said. "They are essential for innovation, essential for competition or jobs."
Le Maire's proposal comes after Google recently escaped a 1.115 billion euro ($1.33 billion) tax bill sought by the French treasury, after a court upheld EU law, ruling that the US company's Irish subsidiary was not taxable in France.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised to get tough on US internet giants during his election campaign, seeing their low tax rates as a source of resentment about globalisation and as unfair for European companies.
Panama City (AFP) Sept 11, 2017
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will visit Panama at the end of this week, according to officials - three months after the countries established diplomatic ties at the expense of Taiwan. Wang will lead a delegation aimed at "advancing the bilateral agenda of Panama and China," including on tourism exchanges, trade links and the maritime environment, the Central American nation's foreign mi ... read more
Global Trade News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|