Expatica news

Spanish league rejects strike over ends to tax breaks

Madrid – The Spanish Football Federation decided Friday against calling a strike to protest a government plan to end the so-called "Beckham law" under which foreign footballers receive tax breaks.

"The meeting decided not to take any measure to create pressure and to set up a negotiating commission to launch an urgent and effective dialogue with the relevant public authorities," it said in a statement after an extraordinary general assembly.

The federation said the board would hold another general assembly on 19 November.

Spain’s ruling Socialist Party said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with three smaller parties in parliament to remove the law, which has been credited with drawing top players to La Liga.

The federation had warned on Wednesday that it may call a 24-hour strike over the move.

The law, introduced in 2005 as a means to lure foreign executives to Spain, allows foreign players who earn more than EUR 600,000 a year to reduce their tax rate to 24 percent instead of the 43 percent applied to Spaniards in the same income bracket.

It became known as the "Beckham law" because it was back-dated to July 1, 2003, the day after David Beckham moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United.

The new law will not apply to recent big-name signings like that of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo by Real Madrid or Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Barcelona because it will not be applied retroactively and will only relate to contracts signed after 1 January 2010.

The tax break has come under renewed attack at a time when Spain is facing its worst recession in over 50 years which has caused the unemployment rate to soar to almost 18 percent, the highest in the European Union.

AFP / Expatica