Sven Giegold

Madeira Papers: Misuse of free trade zones has to be ended

Research published today by Bayerischer Rundfunk, ORF, Le Monde and the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia confirms the abuse of free trade zones for tax avoidance. The Portuguese island of Madeira offers companies a 5% low tax rate on company profits, even without substantial investments or jobs on the island.

Sven Giegold, Economic and Financial Spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, comments:

“Special economic zones must not be used for tax avoidance. The European Commission must end its lax approval procedures. I call on EU Competition Commissioner Vestager to subject all special economic zones to a tax check. Special tax exemptions may apply only to real investment and value creation in disadvantaged regions. Any abuse for the purpose of avoiding paying tax on profits earned abroad and income must be stopped. Ms Vestager has already shown that she is serious about fair competition. Now, her determination and credibility are in demand again.”

Link to the revelations:


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