News World EU's Vestager says Europe must lead the way with a digital tax

EU’s Vestager says Europe must lead the way with a digital tax

Europe needs to decide on a digital tax and should lead the way if there is insufficient consensus globally, the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said on Monday.

There is still disagreement among EU members over how to implement a so-called “GAFA tax” – named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – to ensure the global internet giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

France has been driving hard for such a tax, but at a meeting of EU finance meetings over the weekend, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Denmark blocked a draft EU-wide GAFA tax proposal, officials said.

“We are becoming an increasingly digital world and it will be a huge problem if we do not find a way to raise (digital) taxes,” Vestager told France Inter radio.

Vestager, who is widely talked about as a candidate for the European Commission presidency when Jean-Claude Juncker’s term expires in November, said European countries first needed a deal which could lead to a EU-wide harmonised tax.

“The best thing is a global solution. But if we want to obtain results in a reasonable period of time, Europe must take the lead,” the commissioner added.

Lawmakers in France’s National Assembly, France’s lower house of Parliament, will on Monday begin debating a draft national GAFA tax law. The bill proposes a 3 percent tax on digital advertising and other revenues of tech firms with worldwide revenues of more than 750 million euro.

Vestager, a former Danish economy minister, has a high profile in Brussels for attacking tax avoidance and monopoly powers among U.S. multinationals, and is seen as a contender to be the next Commission president.

She hasn’t announced a public bid for the job, but if she does she would likely need the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Asked if she was interested in the Commission presidency, she said: “I take a lot of interest in the future of Europe. My point is that before we decide on any kind of new face for the Commission, we really need to know what we want to do.”

Internet giants are coming under increasing pressure from regulators globally. Separately on Monday, Britain proposed new online safety laws that would slap penalties on social media companies and technology firms if they fail to protect their users from harmful content.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

126 new cases, two deaths announced on Monday

The Health Ministry announced the death of two persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 188,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Tuesday, 26 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Tuesday, 26 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Church of Panagia Chrysaifyliotissa, Agia Fyla 08:30-16:30 Church of Panagia Evangelistria,...

Cyprus government aims at gradual lifting of restrictive measures

The Cyprus government aims at the gradual lifting of restrictive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the context of a concrete plan, with...

Shot flamingo found in Paralimni lake

Birdlife Cyprus announced that a flamingo was found wounded in the Lake of Paralimni. Members managed to save the bird and take it to a...

Epidemiologists agree to include colchicine in treatment protocol

The scientific team of the Health Ministry is ready to include colchicine in the treatment protocol to face COVID-19, Konstantinos Tsioutis, assistant professor of...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...