PM denies Portugal helping block EU directive on taxing multinationals

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 08-12-2019 18:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, rejected suggestions that the country had sought to block a proposed European Union directive on taxing multinationals

The Left Bloc (BE), the third-largest party in Portugal’s parliament, requested that the finance and foreign ministers attend an urgent hearing to clarify the government’s position on proposed legislation that seeks to make public the fiscal situation of large multinational companies with operations in the EU.

In a debate in parliament the BE leader, Catarina Martins, pressed Costa on the issue. He replied by thanking her for the chance of "clarifying an immense misconception that exists", insisting that "Portugal has never been in a position of blocking this directive."

According to the prime minister, "there were two discussions" on the directive: one more technical on its legal basis "and another politically relevant" one that relates to which EU council of ministers should handle the matter: Ecofin, where it would require unanimity, which would be difficult to achieve, or the council on competitiveness, where it is to be discussed.

"Portugal's position was decisive for its being discussed tomorrow in the competitiveness council … and the minister of state for economy and digital transition will be there to vote in favour of this directive," he stressed.

According to the Diário de Notícias newspaper, the Portugal’s government has since 2017 been undecided on whether to back EU legislation that aims to make known the fiscal situation of large multinational companies with operations in Europe. As a result, the report states, it is effectively among countries blocking the directive’s approval.


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