Luxembourg blocks EU tax transparency (again)

The Washington Post reports that Luxembourg has again blocked an EU law against tax evasion.

“European Union finance ministers failed once again Tuesday to agree on a sweeping new policy to fight tax evasion because of resistance from Luxembourg, a tiny country that long has prospered from a secretive banking culture.”

“Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said he could not vote in favor and pushed the decision to a summit of EU government leaders next week.

Luxembourg has insisted for years it would support the proposed law only if non-EU banking hubs within Europe, particularly Switzerland, also sign up.

But as the EU’s negotiations with Switzerland, Liechtenstein and three other nations on signing the agreement have made progress, Luxembourg has responded with new reasons for opposition, chiefly the risk that banks outside Europe would draw deposits away if the continent’s banking rules are tightened too much.”

Other media covering Luxembourg’s block include the Daily Mail and Deutsche Welle. A brief article in Luxembourg’s Tageblatt includes this direct quote from Gramegna at the meeting of finance ministers: “I am not able to say yes to that today”. (“Ich bin nicht im Stande, heute Ja dazu zu sagen”)

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