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Division remains on Wallonian ‘Marshall Plan’

Published on 05/09/2005

5 September 2005

BRUSSELS — Flemish Prime Minister Yves Leterme has asked the federal government’s opinion on Wallonia’s request to reduce company tax and social premiums in designated zones.

The query came after the Flemish leader met with Wallonian Prime Minister Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe on Friday.

The meeting was arranged to discuss the Wallonia government’s ‘Marshall Plan’, which is designed to reinvigorate the Francophone region’s ailing economy.

The plan outlines the creation of free trade or tax-free zones where investors will benefit from various fiscal advantages.

Wallonia wants to abolish or reduce regional taxes in these zones, but has also asked the federal government to reduce company tax and lower social premiums.

However, Leterme is opposed to the request: “I have said that I am opposed to one-sided federal government measures for Wallonia”.

The Flemish leader now wants to know what the federal government thinks of the proposal, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.
Leterme has already had contact with the federal authority and said doubts have been raised as to whether the request can be reconciled with EU regulations.

On Friday, Leterme again pleaded for a partial regionalisation of company tax, but Van Cauwenberghe remains opposed to the idea.

The two leaders plan to meet again later this month.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news