The bloc committed in May to agree on a common list of tax offenders by the end of next year, after leaked documents – the so-called Panama Papers – that showed how some multinationals and individuals avoided paying tax, caused worldwide outrage. Yesterday’s agreement on defining tax havens cited zero-rate tax only as “an indicator of possible unfair practices,” Italy’s Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said after the meeting. That prompted German leftist EU lawmaker Fabio de Masi to say the plans were “akin to a whitewash.” “It is grotesque that some EU member-states regard the zerotax criterion as being too strict. Even the Bahamas are going to be exempt from this,” he said in a note. The European Commission published an initial list in September, which named 81 countries and jurisdictions that have a higher chance of facilitating tax avoidance and may be subject to further screening and even sanctions. Critics fear the final list may be much shorter and exclude wellknown tax havens. Human rights group Oxfam called for the blacklist to include Switzerland and some states within the European Union that it identified as corporate tax havens, including “the Netherlands, Belgium, Cyprus and Luxembourg.”
Turkey expects the first unit of its planned $20 billion Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, being built in collaboration with Russia, to be online by the end of 2023, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said yesterday.