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EU: Gibraltar slams Almunia for tax avoidance bias

 |  October 1, 2014

The government of Gibraltar is accusing European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia of bias in favor of his home nation of Spain while the regulator investigates tax agreements made between several EU nations and corporations.

”Outgoing Spanish commissioner Almunia has acted, nt surprisingly, in the national interests of Spain and not objectively,” the government said in an emailed statement in regards to the tax probe. The Commission is reportedly examining 165 agreements made between Gibraltar and other companies between 2011 and August 2013 to determine whether these agreements constituted illegal state aid.

The case has gained significant attention as the Commission probes several heavyweights including Apple, Fiat, and Starbucks, and their tax relationships with EU nations. Almunia said Wednesday that he cannot be certain more investigations will not open up in the case.

Gibraltar is not pleased with the investigation, however, and said it had “very little confidence in the work of EU institutions where Spanish nationals can influence the outcome of matters affecting” Gibraltar. Almunia was a former Spanish socialist candidate for prime minister. His time at the Commission ends at the end of next month.

Gibraltar said it would cooperate with the Commission after Almunia leaves office.

The Commission announced an investigation into Gibraltar’s tax deals last year following an official complaint from Spain, say reports.

Full content: Bloomberg

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