EC warns Spain and Slovenia to Fix Their Debt Problems
The European Commission has officially given out warnings to Spain and Slovenia for lack of dealing with the imbalances in their economies promptly enough. Spain’s banking system has been bailed out, while it is expected that Slovenia will be the next nation to ask for a debt rescue. Of the 13 European Union countries under review at the present time, the Commission has stated that Spain and Slovenia are in the worst state. Spain must deliver a reform programme by the end of April, and Slovenia has been required to creation some form of urgent policy action. The imbalances in debt, unemployment and growth are becoming dangerous for the long-term future of both countries. The other 11 European Union countries in macroeconomic imbalances include Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and the UK.
The Eradication of Tax Evasion in France
French President Francois Hollande is calling for a total eradication of the world’s tax havens. He has also required French banks to declare all of their subsidiaries. He stated, “I won’t hesitate to consider as a tax haven any country that refuses to cooperate fully with France.” French banks will no longer be able to hide transactions carried out in a tax haven country, and a new national prosecutor would judge over cases of fraud and corruption. Furthermore, a list of banned professions for politicians will be drawn up in order to prevent conflicts of interest. The creation of a new “high-level authority…to monitor the assets and interests of ministers, members of parliament, [and] top elected officials” will, it is hoped, spread across the region, in an effort to fight tax evasion. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici also wrote to the European Commission to aid them in increasing the exchange of banking information across Europe, so as to further decrease tax evasion. Luxembourg has said that it will implement rules on the automatic exchange of bank account information with its EU partners beginning in 2015. The hope is to have all EU member states do the same, to crackdown on bank secrecy, and allowing for greater transparency.