A breakthrough was reached in the G7 summit last weekend, when the largest industrial countries
worldwide reached a deal to tax global companies, a landmark, according to many newspapers.
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A breakthrough was reached in the G7 summit last weekend, when the largest industrial countries worldwide reached a deal to tax global companies, a landmark, according to many newspapers.
How did the press in respective EU countries report on this breaking news?
Indeed, Financial Times called it a ‘historic agreement’, according to Chris Gilles this would overturn
a century of international corporate taxation, where profits are taxed only where companies have a
physical presence. Newspapers Le Monde shows a more critical approach stating that even if the
agreement marks the willingness of large firms to participate more in the collective effort; its
financial scope remains very modest. Xavier Vidal Folch, El País, believes it will hinder tax evasion
and counter the elusiveness of countries such as The Netherlands and Ireland. On the other hand,
Ireland has no plans to increase its corporate tax rate, no matter which agreement is decided during
the G20 meeting held in June, according to Sky News. And precisely there might lie one of the main
obstacles that this agreement will need to face, counting on the approval of the EU; according to
Reuters, it can turn into a battle, pitting large members such as Germany and France against others
such as Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
And what can they still do to block concrete implementation?
That is something hard to predict, and a really good question. As Euronews reminds, an EU-wide
unanimity is an inescapable requirement established by the EU treaties for taxation matters. Politico
confirms, highlighting that the political fight will continue over the coming years. And in this battle
Ireland will not be alone, Cyprus and Hungary have also stressed their opposition to the deal. Cyprus
asked for further clarity in the terms of the agreement when it was announced by the US president,
but according to the finance minister quoted by Cyprus Mail, the agreement does not directly affect
the country. Philip Inman in the Guardian suggests that the EU should sanction those countries
opposing the agreement, something that goes against the principles of the European Union. There is
still a long way to go and the next stop will be the G20 in July that EURONEWS defines as crucial.
But then taking a look at other events that made the news this week, let’s move to Denmark,
where the adoption of a new asylum law was criticised worldwide?
Indeed, the amendments to the Danish Aliens Act were approved last week, making it possible for
the country to send asylum seekers to third countries outside Europe while their asylum claim is
being processed. A large majority of the Danish parliament voted in favour of the amendments,
emphasised euractive – 70 voted in favour, and only 24 against. The wealthy Scandinavian nation
was already notorious for its hard-line immigration policies, states the Guardian. Just two months
ago, Denmark was condemned by EU lawmakers when it became the first European country to
revoke the residence status of Syrian refugees, wrote BBC. In the first 4 months of this year,
Denmark withdrew the status of 232 Syrian refugees, according to Danish newspaper Politiken. Now,
the European Commission questions whether the new law is compatible with Denmark’s
international obligations, says the Copenhagen Post.
And then lastly, any updates or breakthroughs in the negotiations over the implementation of the
Northern Ireland protocols?
Well, the EU press underlines that the European Commission is urging the U.K. to address “numerous
and fundamental gaps” before the Northern Ireland protocol can be implemented. Politico cited
European Commission Vice President Šefčovič who stated that the EU’s patience “is wearing really,
really thin.”; and threatened to suspend cooperation in certain sectors. The UK press describe the
ongoing dispute between the UK and EU as a ‘sausage war’, since the EU ban on the import of
chilled meat from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, that would enter into force on June 30, would
harm UK businesses. The Guardian predicts the possibility of a trade war. The Daily Mail goes one
step further, headlining “The EU is set to launch a sausage war with the UK ''. In Northern Ireland
itself, the Belfast Telegraph cited DUP leader Edwin Poots, who said he will go to court to remove
the Northern Ireland protocol completely; insisting he will not build any infrastructure to help
implement the protocol.
Erik Ruiz Martín & Nadine Vermeulen
Photo: Christian Lue, via Unsplash
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