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ECOFIN wraps up with tax talks

Two days of meetings between Europe's Finance Ministers came to an end Saturday with discussions on the creation of a unified capital market for the bloc and attempts to crack down on tax avoidance.

"Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) need to have better opportunities to attract investment from all EU member states," Latvian Finance Minister Janis Reirs told journalists in a closing press conference, adding that Latvia had devised a log-term "roadmap" for the development of capital markets that he hoped would last long after the end of Latvia's EU presidency in June. 

European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said medium-sized businesses in the US receive five times as much capital market funding as those in the EU, so there is "scope for work" in that area.

The EU needed to get tough on tax avoidance in order to have more money available for public investment, Dombrovskis said.

"Ministers discussed the fight against base erosion and profit shifting. If we want to tackle aggressive tax planning, if we want stable revenues in the long term, if we want a single market that works for all businesses, then we need to work toegther and Europe needs to take a lead in the fight against tax avoidance," he said.

Dombrovskis also paid tribute to the organizers of the event, which he said had been a major undertaking.

 

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