ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Mar 13, CMC – The Grenada government has welcomed the decision by the European Union to remove the island from a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions which the Europe said was based on an “an intense process of analysis and dialogue steered by the Commission”.
This is a welcome development. While I maintain that we were unfairly blacklisted, I must commend the staff of the Ministry of Finance and Legal Affairs for undertaking all that was necessary to ensure full compliance with what was being required of us,’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell said in a statement.
The EU Finance Ministers Tuesday said that based on the Commission’s screening, they had blacklisted a total of 15 countries including several Caribbean countries namely, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica and Aruba.
“The list has proven a true success with many countries having changed their laws and tax systems to comply with international standards,” the EU said, adding that over the course of last year, the Commission assessed 92 countries based on three criteria: tax transparency, good governance and real economic activity, as well as one indicator, the existence of a zero corporate tax rate”.
Dominica and Bermuda have already criticised the decision to name them on the list and Mitchell said he believes “Grenada’s removal from the blacklist certainly complements the positive developments we are currently experiencing on the economic front.
“Going forward, we must safeguard and maintain what has been accomplished,” he said.
Last month, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at their 30th Inter-sessional summit in St. Kitts-Nevis said the blacklisting of CARICOM countries by the European Union (EU) has brought considerable reputational damage to the Community.
“Despite all member states, with the exception of one, being removed from the EU blacklist, the damage inflicted is irreparable and has consequential implications for building Member States’ economic and climate resilience given their inherent vulnerabilities,” they said in the communique issued at the end of the two-day summit.
“Heads of Government emphasised the Community’s commitment to good governance and the drive to enhance Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Addis Ababa Action Agenda, while recognizing that small, highly vulnerable States also require access to external capital to build resilience.
The regional leaders said in this regard they viewed the EU’s approach to “tax good governance” as inappropriate.