Latvian government agrees to support amended EU transparency directive

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European Union member country finance ministers have agreed that the EU Council Legal Service will continue to work on amending the transparency directive, and if previous concerns are eliminated, the Latvian government will also support the directive, according to the De Facto broadcast on December 8.

As previously reported, 12 European Union countries, including Latvia and Estonia, voted against a directive, which would force multinational companies to their profits and paid taxes for each EU country individually, according to a November 28 article by The Guardian.

As a whole Latvia supports the main goal of combating tax avoidance and the substance of the directive - obligating specific companies and subsidiaries to publicly reveal information about tax payments and other related information.

"However the EU Council Legal Service admitted that the legal basis chosen by the European Commission is not appropriate, because the directive relates to taxation issues and should be looked at in accordance with the EU framework decision as a unanimous decision, not a qualified majority, where country influence is proportional to population," according to the EM statement.

“There are countries like, for example, France, which think that everywhere should have the same taxes as in France, and they're looking for opportunities to force the rest of the countries to follow their model,” said Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity).

The government coalition emphasizes that the directive won't reach a dead end, and that Latvia will support large corporations reporting their profits and paid taxes. At the EU finance ministers meeting they agreed to cut all references about taxes from the directive, which would mean support from the Latvian government.

De Facto questions whether the core of the directive will remain in tact as promised after the legal changes.

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