Italian antitrust chief blasts 'tax havens' within the EU

Fiscal dumping by Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland - Rustichelli

(ANSA) - ROME, JUL 2 - Roberto Rustichelli, the head of the Italian antitrust authority, said Thursday that the fiscal polices of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland made them "authentic tax havens within the eurozone".
    He told a Lower House committee that these countries conduct "aggressive fiscal practices that damage the economies of the other member States and, in part thanks to these practices, register very high growth rates".
    He said that, at the moment, the EU's legislative framework has led to "a disparity in the competition conditions of the market between member States" as it allowed "fiscal and contribution dumping between countries".
    Rustichelli said that, while Italy's GDP has grown 5% in the last five years, Ireland's has risen 60%, Luxembourg's 17% and the Netherlands 12% in the same period.
    He said that companies moving their tax bases to other European countries was hitting Italy hard.
    "Some studies estimate that, due to unfair fiscal competition at the European level, the Italian tax authorities lose the possibility to tax over 23 billion dollars of profits," he said.
    "11 billion of profits are moved to moved to Luxembourg, over six billion to Ireland, 3.5 billion to the Netherlands and over two billion to Belgium.
    "This leads to damage to Italy that can be estimated to amount to between five and eight billion dollars a year".
    Rustichelli said that this means demands for fiscal frugality from countries such as the Netherlands should be seen in a new light.
    "This situation takes on an additional problematic consequence in the case in which countries that support these unfair fiscal practices demand budget tightening from the countries they drain resources from,"he said. (ANSA).
   

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