Spain rejects proposal to blacklist tax haven athletes

18th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The proposal which would ban Spanish athletes who live in tax havens from representing the country was rejected by the Socialist Party and the Popular Party.

MADRID – The Spanish parliament's tax commission on Tuesday rejected a proposed law which would ban Spanish athletes who live in tax havens from representing the country.

The proposal from the United Left coalition was turned down by the ruling Socialist Party and the main opposition conservative Popular Party (PP) during a meeting of the commission broadcast on television.

"In this time of crisis and layoffs, it seemed desirable to us that renowned athletes contribute to the Spanish economy," United Left lawmaker Joan Herrera said in an interview published in sports daily AS ahead of the vote.

Socialist lawmaker Jose Javier Marmol justified the rejection of the proposed law by his party on the grounds that tax havens should not be regulated "unilaterally".

"Any decision must be taken in a coordinated fashion and count on an international consensus," he said.

The PP argued it was not right to single out athletes and not professionals in other sectors like the arts in the proposed law.

Several top Spanish athletes, such as two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, golfer Sergio Garcia, tennis player Carlos Moya and cyclist Oscar Freire, have all taken up residence in Switzerland, according to AS.

The Group of 20 industrialised and developing powers (G20) is poised to produce an international blacklist of tax havens at a meeting in London on 2 April.

Germany and France have proposed that G20 members punish countries deemed to be "uncooperative" tax havens by breaking off bilateral fiscal conventions with them.

AFP / Expatica

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