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By
AFP
Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Dec 9, 2016
Reading time
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Inditex hits back at 'aggressive tax avoidance' accusation by Green MEPs

By
AFP
Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Dec 9, 2016

Green MEPs have accused Zara and its parent company Inditex of employing "fiscal optimisation measures" to avoid paying over €500 million in tax, in a report published on Thursday which was immediately disputed by the Spanish apparel group.


AFP


In the 36-page report, Green MEPs give details of what they claim are the group's  "aggressive tax avoidance strategies". Zara is allegedly benefiting from low levels of corporate taxation in countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. "Inditex thinks that the report is based on mistaken premises, which lead to false conclusions," the group has responded in a press release.

"Zara customers expect such a flourishing corporation to pay its rightful share of taxation to the community. Consumers are being misled," stated Eva Joly, Green MEP and Vice-President of the parliamentary enquiry commission on the Panama Papers scandal. "It is also a case of unacceptably unfair competition with all those apparel SMEs which abide by the rules. A full investigation must be mounted," added Eva Joly.

"It is time for EU governments to introduce a new series of measures, which have been advocated by ecologists for a long time. Public financial accountability in every country, and a minimum level of corporate taxation, would contribute to putting a brake on fiscal competition and to changing profits," stated Pascal Durand, a Green MEP and member of the Panama Papers parliamentary enquiry commission.

Inditex is the third group Green MEPs have ave set their sights on. Last February they pointed the finger at Swedish furniture giant Ikea, and in early November at German chemicals group BASF, for their "fiscal trickery." Both groups have disputed the accusations.

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