James Crisp. Freelance journalist in Brussels.

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Malta keeping tax loophole open after Sweden drops opposition

Finance ministers Luis De Guindos (Spain) Edward Scicluna (Malta), Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Netherlands) and Fabrizio Saccomanni (Italy). 17 February, 2014. [EU Council/Flickr]

Finance ministers Luis De Guindos (Spain) Edward Scicluna (Malta), Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Netherlands) and Fabrizio Saccomanni (Italy). 17 February, 2014. [EU Council/Flickr]

Malta is the only member state stopping a tax loophole costing billions of euros being closed, after Sweden dropped its opposition to a EU finance ministers’ agreement to stop multinational companies exploiting hybrid loan arrangements to pay little or no tax.

The European Commission reassured Swedish diplomats last week that the deal on the revised Parent-Subsidiary Directive would not prevent foreign investment into a model of investment company used by national champions such as Volvo and Eriksson.

But Malta will not support the agreement, which was brokered by the Greek Presidency of the European Union.

All EU-level tax law requires unanimous support from all member states.

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