Sunday

22nd Jul 2018

Netherlands causes Greece to miss out on €1.7m in tax, says report

  • A Canadian gold company has avoided paying taxes in Greece thanks to the Netherlands, a report said (Photo: BullionVault)

The Netherlands' tax regime is enabling a Canadian gold mining company to pay less tax in Greece, a report by a Dutch foundation concluded Monday (30 March).

The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations found that Greece has missed out on at least €1.7 million in tax revenues, because the company, Eldorado Gold, profited from the Dutch tax rules.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

The report comes as the Greek government is under pressure from countries like the Netherlands to increase its tax collection to meet its cash shortage.

Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who also leads the group of eurozone finance ministers, has repeatedly stated that Greece should improve its method of collecting taxes, an irony which was not lost on the authors of the report, Fool's Gold.

“While Greece’s failure to levy taxes due from certain professions and low tax morale are certainly a problem for resource mobilisation, the public debate in Greece, and that led by the EU and IMF, has primarily focused on wealthy individuals and particular segments of the population that were granted preferential treatment. Tax avoidance by large and often foreign companies … has been largely excluded in public and policy discussions. Incidentally this tax avoidance is facilitated by EU member states such as the Netherlands and Luxembourg”.

According to the researchers, “tax avoidance using legal yet aggressive tax planning methods is widespread in Greece”.

Eldorado Gold has 12 subsidiary companies in the Netherlands, with almost €2 billion in assets. However, only one of those subsidiaries has any employees (three).

While tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not. However, the practice is under renewed scrutiny since last year, when a trove of leaked documents showed how widespread the practice was in Luxembourg, which like other countries concluded tax rulings which benefited multinationals.

The European Parliament has set up a special committee to investigate these tax rulings. On Monday it will hold an exchange of views with EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

The NGO urges policymakers “to take political and policy steps to coordinate better and implement binding legislation to end tax base erosion and profit shifting by large multinationals”.

A Dutch MP from the Socialist Party told Dutch newspaper NRC the practice “has to stop”.

“Greece needs the EU to get its tax collection in order. A member state like the Netherlands should not help multinationals do the opposite”, said Arnold Merkies.

EU proposes new tax transparency rules

Peer pressure will underpin a new European Commission proposal to make big companies pay their fair share of tax and prevent governments from cheating others out of taxable revenue streams.

EU wants answers to de-dramatise Brexit talks

Further talks on the Irish border could continue next week as the EU is open to "any solution" that keeps the border invisible. EU negotiator Michel Barnier said key questions remain over the UK's white paper on a future partnership.

EU urges no-deal Brexit preparation

The EU Commission urged companies, citizens, and member states to prepare in case the UK next March crashes out of the EU without a deal - on the day the new UK Brexit minister arrived in Brussels.

News in Brief

  1. Libyan PM rejects EU migrant camps idea
  2. Italy's Salvini to sue critical anti-mafia writer
  3. EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help with wildfires
  4. British ex-commissioner's jobs called into question
  5. May to tell EU to drop Irish border 'backstop' idea
  6. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  7. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  8. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us