BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers are unlikely to adopt a new blacklist of tax havens at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, the meeting chair, Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, told reporters.
The largest review of the blacklist since its adoption in December 2017 is expected to see the number of listed jurisdictions triple from the current five. However, EU governments have been divided over some of the countries that would be added.
EU documents show that Italy and Estonia are the only countries in the 28-nation bloc that object to the new list, as they are pushing not to add the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
EU decisions on tax matters require the backing of all EU states.
Italy’s Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said on Tuesday that Rome wanted to give more time to the UAE to adopt legislation that would allow it to comply with EU tax standards.
Asked whether he will lift his veto on UAE listing, he said: “Our opinion does not change but we will take into account the positions of other states,” he said, adding that if the UAE was listed, the country would quickly be delisted once its new legislation is adopted.
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Philip Blenkinsop