France welcomes focus on "taxation of the digital economy" under Austrian EU Council Presidency

Having had to cancel a personal meeting due to illness, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger held a telephone discussion with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire

Taxation of the digital economy is one of the main focuses of the Austrian Finance Ministry during the upcoming EU Council Presidency; Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger affirmed this to his French counterpart. Originally, the plan was to discuss the topic at a bilateral meeting in Paris, but this had to be cancelled by the Austrian Finance Ministry last week due to illness.

Finance Minister Löger reported on the telephone discussion held, that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire welcomed adoption of this priority; following his discussions, Löger showed himself to be confident that, in this arena, France and Austria were pursuing common interests. "The alliance with France shows that, with our prioritisation, we are focusing on a key issue. The injustice arising on the basis that large digital firms pay no tax while traditional businesses most certainly do make a contribution to the social-welfare system is an issue that enjoys broad support," added Löger. However, he is aware that some Member States are hesitant, and it is necessary to address their concerns; "we will hold intensive discussions with those countries that still take a sceptical view of the Commission's proposals so as to move this important issue forward during our Council Presidency".