European Union puts 17 nations on tax avoidance blacklist

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (front center left) and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (front center right) stand with EU foreign ministers during a group photo at the EU Council building in Brussels. (Source: AP) Related News

The European Union has put 17 countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said after Tuesday’s meeting of the bloc’s finance ministers that beyond the 17, some 40 more were put on a ‘grey-list’ to be kept a close eye on.

The EU said those blacklisted had refused to cooperate and change their way after almost one year of dialogue. The full list was not immediately published. The issue resurfaced earlier this year when reports dubbed showed how the rich and famous stash their wealth in shell companies in small nations to avoid paying taxes at home.

Higher-tax countries like France have pushed for the blacklist and a Europe-wide crackdown on tax havens. Lower-tax countries like Ireland and the Netherlands argue that will hurt Europe’s competitiveness.

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