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European Union reveals first tax haven blacklist

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Pierre Moscovici European tax commissioner speaks with press prior to an EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2017

As for the Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis that also attended the meeting on behalf of the EU executive, he said that as a number of third countries have entered into commitments as regard to good tax governance and the European Commission "will be following up those commitments".

The EU said those blacklisted had refused to cooperate and change their way after nearly one year of consultations.

The 17 countries that could potentially face sanctions for failing to bring their standards in line with the EU's published requirements, are South Korea, Panama, Bahrain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, as well as Barbados, Samoa, American Samoa, Grenada, Guam, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, according to an ECOFIN announcement.

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici earlier commented that EU leaders were still in talks over an initial list of 29 countries, with disagreements still strong on who will make the final version.

This country was also named in the Panama Papers a year ago.

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"It already had a positive impact".

"The placement in the list must not be seen as the end game: on the contrary, the exercise is ongoing and remains a matter of cooperation between partners", he said. "In the future, too, most countries will try to avoid being publicly shamed".

The blacklisted countries are accused of behaving like tax havens. The bloc has previously accused the Netherlands and Ireland of granting special tax treatment to Starbucks and Apple, respectively.

Fondi said UAE authorities would receive a letter from the European Union in coming days detailing what they could do to be removed from the blacklist. Others, too, were asking why countries like Luxembourg, Malta and Britain — whose crown dependency Isle of Man featured prominently in the Paradise Papers — were not included. That means they promote unfair tax practices, or don't share important financial information with the EU. "If we want to fight tax avoidance credibly on a global stage, we must also put our own house in order", said Socialist legislator Peter Simon said.

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