Greece and Ireland under fire for tax rules
The ECJ ruled that Greece's tax regime is unlawful,
while the Commission is concerned about that in Ireland.
Ireland grants a special tax rate of 10%, as
opposed to the standard corporation tax of 38%, to companies
starting-up manufacturing projects and international financial
services. It is also planning to grant free-port status to Rosslare
and the Shannon industrial zone. The Commission has warned that
these concessions are likely to constitute State aid.
In response, the Irish finance minister has offered
to raise the special tax rate to 12.5 or 13%. However, the new
Irish government has pledged to set a standard corporate rate of
just 10% for all business by 2010, a move which should silence
complaints about State aid.
Meanwhile, the ECJ has condemned Greece for
maintaining discriminatory taxes contrary to EC law. Greece does
not allow imported second-hand cars equipped with anti-pollution
technology to benefit from a special consumer tax which is
applicable to domestic second-hand cars. This discriminates against
imported cars. Greece will have to change its