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European countries exclude companies registered in offshore tax havens from coronavirus stimulus



Three European countries have moved to restrict companies that keep large sums of money overseas in tax havens from accessing stimulus funds.

Business Insider reported Thursday that France’s top finance minister said on a radio show that his goal was to prevent such companies from being eligible to receive any government stimulus.

“It goes without saying that if a company has its tax headquarters or subsidiaries in a tax haven, I want to say with great force, it will not be able to benefit from state financial aid,” said Bruno Le Maire.

“[I]f your head office is located in a tax haven, it is obvious that you cannot benefit from public support,” he added

His announcement follows similar declarations from officials in Denmark and Poland.  

Denmark’s government ended support for companies with overseas fortunes in an order issued days ago by the country’s finance ministry extending a government bailout program into July, according to Business Insider.

“Companies based on tax havens in accordance with EU guidelines cannot receive compensation, insofar as it is possible to cut them off under EU law and any other international obligations,” a translation of the Danish order read.

Poland’s prime minister reportedly went a step further earlier this month, calling for an end to all tax havens, according to the news outlet: “[E]nd tax havens, which are the bane of modern economies.”

Prominent media figures in the U.K. and Italy have also blasted companies for not paying taxes, pointing to underfunded public services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“It has become evident that those who do not pay their taxes are not only guilty of a crime, but of murder: if the beds and the respirators are not there they are partly to blame,” wrote one Italian broadcaster in an op-ed for La Repubblica.



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