Let us seek a per­ma­nent mul­ti­lat­eral so­lu­tion with re­gards to the pro­posed dig­i­tal tax – Min­is­ter for Fi­nance

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

“The Euro­pean Union should main­tain the sense of ur­gency, but aim at a per­ma­nent mul­ti­lat­eral so­lu­tion.” This was stated by Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Ed­ward Sci­cluna, dur­ing the In­for­mal Econ­omy and Fi­nance (Ecofin) Min­is­ters meet­ing, or­gan­ised by the Bul­gar­ian Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the EU, in Sofia, on 27-28 April. The meet­ing en­abled the Min­is­ters to ex­change views on a num­ber of salient is­sues that Europe is cur­rently fac­ing, with spe­cial ref­er­ence to the Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal for a tem­po­rary dig­i­tal tax on global dig­i­tal com­pa­nies like Google and Ama­zon.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna stated that while he recog­nised that there is a com­mon in­ter­est in agree­ing a new set of in­ter­na­tional tax rules in the dig­i­tal econ­omy, and there­fore he is ready to en­gage in the dis­cus­sions at an EU level, his coun­try prefers a global so­lu­tion.

The min­is­ter ac­knowl­edged that he fails to see any dif­fer­ence be­tween the short- and long-term solutions pro­posed by the EU Com­mis­sion, since both in­volve ac­tion af­fect­ing third coun­tries, and in­volve the re-al­lo­ca­tion of tax­ing rights.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna ex­plained that the EU should be more con­cerned with whether it wants to risk a uni- lat­eral ap­proach or take the more sen­si­ble mul­ti­lat­eral ap­proach. Re­fer­ring to the ASEM Fi­nance Min­is­ters meet­ing held on 26 April, he ob­served that the Asian part­ners ex­pressed cer­tain dis­may at the EU opt­ing for a uni­lat­eral ap­proach at a time where coun­tries world-wide are frown­ing upon such an ap­proach in the trade field.

Ear­lier in the day the meet­ing dis­cussed the Euro­pean Mon­e­tary Union was with a spe­cial fo­cus on the Roadmap agreed in 2016 on com­plet­ing the Bank­ing Union. Min­is­ters also de­lib­er­ated on the re­form of the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism that is cur­rently un­der­way, ex­plor­ing the best way to trans­form the ESM into a com­mon back­stop of the Sin­gle Res­o­lu­tion Fund. Min­is­ters re­it­er­ated the need to ac­cel­er­ate the com­ple­tion of the Cap­i­tal Mar­kets Union through a tar­geted pri­or­ity list fo­cus­ing on Pan Euro­pean Pen­sion Plans, busi­ness in­sol­vency and strength­en­ing the Euro­pean Se­cu­ri­ties and Mar­kets Author­ity.

A Eurogroup meet­ing was held prior to the Ecofin meet­ing. Amongst var­i­ous is­sues it also dis­cussed wages in the con­text of their rel­e­vance on the macro-eco­nomic ad­just­ment in a cur­rency union. Min­is­ters were also in­formed of the state of play of Greece.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.