DUBLIN: Ireland, along with several other EU countries, have been called tax policy ‘black holes’ by the EU commissioner, but he dismissed claims for their inclusion on the EU tax haven blacklist. he EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, according to a report by The Times, said he would be pressuring Malta and the other jurisdictions to change their tax practices to be more transparent.
“Obviously many countries in the European Union are places where aggressive tax optimisation finds its place,” Moscovici told reporters in Brussels on 18 December. The comments were made by Moscovici, who is the former French finance minister, ahead of an EU finance ministers’ meeting to discuss non-EU tax havens. The ministers are expected to whittle down the blacklist, which was released last month, from 17 jurisdictions to nine. The jurisdictions expected to be removed from the list are Panama, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia. Once removed they will join 47 countries on the so-called EU “grey list”. Oxfam has heavily criticised the list from the outset and said Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Netherlands should be included for it. Moscovici denied this, but said to The Times: “If you realise that the tax flows go to this or that country: Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus… let’s talk about how to solve things.” The jurisdictions that will stay on the list are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.