Blacklist of 17 Countries Serving as Tax Havens

The EU has recently released a blacklist of 17 countries that they say are tax havens. This comes after a ten month investigation where they identified places that are not doing enough, the EU says, to crack down on offshore avoidance plans. The 17 places include: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The list actually excludes some key places that were on a previous list from June 2015. These include British Overseas Territories like the Cayman Island and Bermuda. They were taken off the list this time.

The most recent list was drafted by the European Council’s Code of Conduct (COC). Learn more about these issues.

Elgin Energy Plans Solar Farm

Elgin Energy is making plans for a 100-acre solar photvoltaic (PV) farm in Kilkenny. This is the latest in a list of proposals by solar farm developers which follows the fall in the cost of solar PV technology.

They have applied to build this on a 39.6 hectare site that is close to the village of Ballyragget. Elgin explains that the project in Ballyragget would be able to power 6500 homes in the area and could eliminate 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the course of its lifespan. The decision about the project should be given on December 5.

Google, Facebook, Others Soon Going to be Taxes Higher by EU?

The EU Finance Ministers have put forward an interesting proposal that could definitely have Google and Facebook seeing red…and green. At the finance minister summit on Saturday the Estonian capital of Tallinn, France and Germany urged the bloc partners to consider an emergency tax bill. This tax bill will force internet companies to pay taxes in every country where they earn revenue, rather than in only locations where they book profits. At the moment, most of the internet giants have EU headquarters in strategically placed low-tax states like Ireland and Luxembourg. Most of these offices post little or no profit and sometimes they even claim a loss. But, if they had to instead pay taxes in every country where they have revenues, this would be a game changer.

Lear more by reading the full article.

Eastern European News

Should Ireland Make an Exit Soon Too?

This article is worth reading, as it argues that Ireland should exit, as England has done. As the author states, “Behind the charade of a “unified stance” on Brexit is a deeply divided EU with competing national agendas which have been whipped into a facile unanimity. The pressure not to break ranks is huge. In his acclaimed book Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment, former Greek minister for finance Yanis Varoufakis documents the devastating reality of such pressures.”

Read the entire piece to learn more.

Staples Selling Its European Stakes

Staples has announced that it will be selling a controlling stake in its European business to the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. They will sell it for 50 million euros ($53.65 million). The European unit for Staples includes retail, contract and online businesses that are in 16 countries. They generate an annual sale of approximately 1.7 billion euros.

Staples plans to retain a 15% stake in the European business. This deal follows on the heels of Office Depot, which has also said that it is selling its European operations to Aurelius Group.

Staples expects to complete its European sale during the first quarter of its fiscal year beginning February 2017.

Read more details here.