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New Hungarian veto taunts EU countries

One bump had barely been cleared when the next came along. While Poland was able to agree to a leading new European tax law after months of training on Friday, Hungary unexpectedly presented itself as a new obstacle. The blockade is a major setback for France, which, as the rotating EU president, hoped to have the European minimum tax rate for multinationals adopted this month. France has recently made great efforts to get the new legislation agreed in the OECD to combat tax avoidance by large companies such as Google and Amazon globally in the European Union.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed disappointment with Hungary’s stance during the public meeting of European Finance Ministers. He emphasized that all technical details had already been discussed and expressed the hope that Hungary can still agree soon.

In recent weeks, pressure to pass the law has grown from the United States, a major pioneer in the new tax law. But the new delay is especially inconvenient for the EU because it shows how easily member states can hold legislative processes hostage for political reasons. Although Poland continued to have substantive objections to the tax law, it was clear behind the scenes in Brussels that the veto was being used to force a breakthrough in a completely different area: approving Poland’s plan for the corona recovery fund. For a long time, the European Commission refused to agree to this, because of concerns about the Polish rule of law. It was approved two weeks ago. The fact that the Polish blockade has indeed disappeared after that does not in the least remove the suspicion of blackmail policy.

‘Remarkable’

Now it is feared that Hungary is trying to play the same trick. The Hungarian corona recovery plan is also stuck, also due to rule of law issues. Although Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag did not want to speculate about Hungarian motives before the meeting on Friday morning, she did call the sudden blockade “remarkable”. Hungarian Finance Minister Mihály Varga said he could not agree at the meeting because of concerns about “rising interest rates and inflation” and “disruptions in supply chains”. “In such circumstances, the introduction of the global minimum tax would cause serious damage to European economies,” Varga said.

The new Hungarian veto comes two weeks after the country also opposed an embargo on the purchase of Russian oil in the European Council. The country eventually agreed, after receiving commitments to mitigate the economic impact on Hungary.

New Hungarian veto taunts EU countries
Source link New Hungarian veto taunts EU countries

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