BERLIN (Reuters) - A majority of euro zone countries favour the single currency area adopting a fiscal capacity, or common budget, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday.
After meeting German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Le Maire said they had also made progress towards achieving a compromise position on plans for a digital services tax.
“I think a compromise in the coming weeks is possible and we will be able to send the clear message that we agree on a fair taxation of the internet giants,” he told reporters.
President Emmanuel Macron’s French government has led a push for firms with significant digital revenues in the European Union to pay more tax at source. Germany has long been cool to the idea, while smaller member-states with low corporate tax rates such as Luxembourg and Ireland firmly oppose the proposal.
Le Maire sought to soothe German concerns that such a levy could tax data exchanged or sold between a car manufacturer and a supplier of car equipment.
“The DST will tax data of a personal nature collected through a web search engine or platform and then sold on and exploited for commercial purposes,” he said.
On the euro zone budget, Le Maire said the idea had been seen as impossible to achieve only a few months ago.
“A clear majority now support such a capacity,” he said. “Call it a fiscal capacity or a budget, it is the same in the end.”
Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Toby Chopra