Arab Today, arab today no best friend of big business after tax uproar
Last Updated : GMT 21:47:11
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker:

No 'best friend' of big business after tax uproar

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today No 'best friend' of big business after tax uproar

Jean-Claude Juncker
Brussels - Arab Today

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday he was no "best the friend of big business" following an uproar over huge tax breaks agreed with top global companies when he was Luxembourg premier.
Breaking his silence on the affair, an under-fire Juncker went on the counter-offensive by announcing the Commission, the EU executive arm, would "push for (tax) harmonisation and fair rules among all".
Revealed last week, the tax breaks extended to household names such as Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank and are politically explosive at a time when cash-strapped EU governments have sharply cut budgets.
"Do not describe me as the best friend of big business, big business has much better friends in this house," Juncker told lawmakers in the European Parliament, where he made a surprise appearance that triggered boos from far-right parties.
The appearance by Juncker followed a similar one in front of journalists and ended almost a week of stony silence since the shock revelations were published by newspapers worldwide, attracting calls for his resignation.
Juncker, a grizzled veteran of European politics, staunchly denied he was an "architect" of the "perfectly legal" system and had absolutely no "personal involvement" with any of the arrangements.
"I have said that the Commission would fight tax evasion and fiscal fraud," Juncker said as he faced a barrage of journalists' questions.
Juncker said the deals complied with EU and international rules, but with attitudes changing, he acknowledged the need for updated laws and more transparency.
- 'No conflict of interest' -
Leaked documents made public by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists showed the tiny duchy of Luxembourg gave hundreds of global firms huge tax breaks.
The "Luxleaks" documents showed that billions were funnelled through Luxembourg thanks to complex financial structures that allowed companies to slash their tax liabilities, depriving hard-up governments of revenue.
The tax deal reports put Juncker, who only took office on November 1, immediately in the firing line given the European Union's headline commitment to fighting tax fraud.
The Commission has already launched a series of investigations into tax arrangements in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on the grounds they might infringe state aid rules by unfairly favouring some companies over others.
"There is no conflict of interest when the Commission launches probes" into such arrangements, Juncker said.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has promised to press on with the probes and Juncker earlier said he would let the process take its course.
- Commission 'supports' Juncker -
However, questions about his role in securing deals which are technically legal but go against the grain at a time of austerity and tax hikes for ordinary citizens, refuse to go away.
In his defense, Juncker said that as head of the Commission he could no longer comment on Luxembourg's affairs or whether he remained the right person to lead the EU.
"I'm as suitable as you are," Juncker replied to one journalist.
Some 22 of the 28 EU states had similar tax arrangements, he said, and the issue was to ensure that they did not violate state aid rules.
The commission chief appealed for parliament's support.
"I need your confidence. Without your confidence, nothing is possible," Juncker said, triggering some boos.
At least one member of the European parliament called for Juncker to resign or at least stand down while his role in Luxembourg is investigated.
But Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, whom Juncker calls his "right-hand" man, scotched any suggestions that his boss would step down.
Juncker defended his career against suggestions of impropriety, adding there "is nothing in my past" suggesting that he had encouraged tax evasion.
On the contrary, he said, "in the course of my life, I have sought greater tax harmonisation in Europe" so as to ensure a level playing field for all.
He announced the Commission would issue a directive soon on the automatic exchange of information on tax rulings, which allow companies to work out in advance how the authorities of a particular country will deal with them.
He said he has tasked econoic commissioner Pierre Moscovici with drafting a proposal.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday said leaders of the world's most powerful economies should use this weekend's G20 summit in Brisbane to close corporate tax loopholes that cost countries billions of dollars in revenue.
Source: AFP

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today no best friend of big business after tax uproar Arab Today, arab today no best friend of big business after tax uproar

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Heart of Turkish Riviera is Alluring Seaside Escape

GMT 11:11 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Heart of Turkish Riviera is Alluring Seaside Escape
Arab Today, arab today 5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas

GMT 17:03 2017 Saturday ,25 March

5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas
Arab Today, arab today Russia, Iran ink economic deals

GMT 08:03 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Russia, Iran ink economic deals
Arab Today, arab today Media host gives priority to problems of people

GMT 07:00 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Media host gives priority to problems of people

GMT 06:12 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Russian tax plan could put pressure

GMT 08:54 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Egypt gets part of World Bank loan

GMT 05:53 2017 Thursday ,16 March

Dutch investments in Turkey not at risk

GMT 16:09 2017 Wednesday ,15 March

Arif urges al-Sisi to sit down with investors

GMT 05:14 2017 Saturday ,11 March

American Airlines to invest $100m in Brazil
View News in Arabic - Business: حوارات وتقارير
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Disaster costs nearly double to $175bn

GMT 10:42 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Disaster costs nearly double to $175bn
Arab Today, arab today Campaign fights sexual harassment in Egypt

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Campaign fights sexual harassment in Egypt
Arab Today, arab today Trump moves to roll back Obama climate measures

GMT 08:39 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Trump moves to roll back Obama climate measures
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes, VW recall million vehicles in China

GMT 09:16 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Mercedes, VW recall million vehicles in China
Arab Today, arab today Uber grounds self-driving cars

GMT 09:11 2017 Monday ,27 March

Uber grounds self-driving cars
Arab Today, arab today Trump poised to roll back climate protections

GMT 09:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Trump poised to roll back climate protections

GMT 18:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Accessories designer reveals her new collection

GMT 11:10 2017 Monday ,27 March

Trump to roll back Obama clean power plan

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 11:55 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Need ‘gymspiration?’ The top fun fitness bloggers

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 05:17 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Samsung to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7s

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday