‘Luxembourg is a rogue state, Ireland a parasite state’, says French MP


In an interview with euractiv.fr, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the former French presidential candidate and leader of a small anti-euro conservative party, calls on France to impose minimum conditions on fiscal policy at the EU level, denouncing the fiscal dumping of Luxembourg and Ireland.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is a French MP and founder of the conservative political party 'Debout la République', known for its strong positions against the euro currency.

As a member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the French parliament, Dupont-Aignan denounced the way the EU manages tax havens and fiscal policy.

In an interview with EURACTIV France, the MP called Luxembourg a “rogue state”, because it “allows the creation of trusts that hide the identity of their shareholders, which costs everybody a lot”, while the Netherlands and Ireland are “parasite states” according to him, because “they offer favourable fiscal conditions to enterprises”.

“We cannot bear this while we are permanently imposing heavy taxation on the citizens”, he added.

The solution to tax fraud in Europe, he says, is to establish “a minimal tax of 15% to 20% on all profits in Europe”, something France should put as a sine qua non condition on the Council’s table.

“When I say this in the Committee for Foreign Affairs, people tell me that it is not possible, that there are Treaties to respect. Maybe, but the UK didn’t respect any Treaty when it negotiated its “rebate” from the European budget”.

But given that “Europe is ruled by the UK and Germany” and that “France is losing its influence” in the EU, the MP says, his country should at least tackle tax fraud at home, for example by letting the judiciary open investigations on fiscal issues, as other countries do.

As EURACTIV wrote last month, an assessment carried out by an external consulting firm found a €30 billion VAT gap in France’s annual VAT revenues. Asked to comment on this, Dupont-Aignan gives the example of Belgium as a solution.

“Belgium managed to very significantly reduce the level of VAT fraud by setting up ad hoc forces that cross police files and files from the tax administration. It’s the least we can do when there are billions involved”.

Another solution would be to “meet in person the managers of the companies, with their resume”, he told EURACTIV.

>> Read the entire interview with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan here (in French)

At their March 2012 summit, EU heads of states askedthe European Commission "to rapidly develop concrete ways to improve the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion, taking third countries into account, and to report by June 2012.

The Commission followed up on 27 June with a reviewof the measures

currently in place, to see how they could be improved and intensified.

The aim is to create a stronger, more coordinated approach to tackling tax evasion, aggressive financial and tax jurisdictions, and unfair tax competition.

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