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Spain to keep ‘Beckham law’ on taxation

Madrid – Spain’s ruling Socialist Party on Tuesday withdrew its support for a motion that would have ended the so-called "Beckham law" under which foreign footballers receive tax benefits.

The Socialists had earlier agreed to support a move by the IU-ICV, a coalition of leftist and Green parties, to introduce the measure "to curb the abuse of taxation privileges of elite footballers."

The law, first conceived to aid foreign business investment, allows foreign footballers playing in Spain to be taxed on only 24 percent of their income, instead of 43 percent for other Spaniards in the same income bracket.

It is popularly known as the "Beckham law", after English footballing icon David Beckham, who was the first to benefit after his arrival at Real Madrid in 2003.

But Socialist Party spokesman Jose Antonio Alonso said later on Tuesday that it was withdrawing its support for the motion to end the "Beckham law" due to IU-ICV’s decision not to back the government in a budget vote next Thursday.

The Socialist Party does not have an absolute majority and must rely on smaller parties to pass legislation.

The IU-ICV had called for the "Beckham law" to be withdrawn after the news of the world record EUR 93 million transfer fee paid by Real to Manchester United for Portuguese striker Ronaldo earlier this month, and the player’s reported annual salary of EUR 12 million.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had described those amounts as "excessive."

AFP / Expatica