EU rejects French proposal to penaliselow-tax states

7th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, Sept 6 (AFP) - EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Monday rejected a French suggestion to axe structural funds for new European Union members with lower than average tax rates.

MADRID, Sept 6 (AFP) - EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Monday rejected a French suggestion to axe structural funds for new European Union members with lower than average tax rates.  

"We are not going to make a distinction in the way we apply cohesion funds between Portugal and Lithuania, or between Spain and Malta," he said in response to a suggestion by France's finance minister that states that cut taxes should not be entitled to European Union structural funds.  

"The application will be the same for all," Almunia insisted.  

French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday that he would propose this week that Brussels axe structural funds for newcomer states whose taxes were lower than the average within the 25-member bloc.  

"The countries which have just entered the union have revenues well below those of the 15 (older EU members). I think the enlarged EU should strengthen and not weaken its policy of cohesion to reduce inequality between territories," Almunia told reporters.  

Czech and Slovak finance ministers have likewise spoken out against Sarkozy's comments.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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