‘Less tax dodging, more investment in Africa’: Italy slams proposed EU budget

'Less tax dodging, more investment in Africa': Italy slams proposed EU budget
Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero isn't impressed by the EU's budget proposals. Photo: Roland Schlager/APA/AFP
Rome on Thursday slammed the European Union's 2021-2027 budget proposal as not satisfying Italians' expectations and not helping developing countries stem the flow of migrants.

“The Commission's current proposal seems inadequate as it doesn't sufficiently answer citizens' concerns and expectations,” Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero said after meeting EU budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

Italy wants more money to help resolve its migrant issue, a particularly sensitive topic since the anti-immigration League joined the government earlier this year.

“Italy considers major attention to migrations indispensable, firstly through much more financing of socio-economic development for migrants' countries of origin and transit,” he said.

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Moavero lamented “the regrettable trend of the last 30 years of reducing European funds for African countries”. Brussels should emit bonds “to pay for concrete investment projects that favour competitiveness”, he said.

Likewise, the EU could find extra funds by clamping down on the “fiscal optimisation” of multinationals such as Facebook or Amazon that are registered in countries with favourable tax regimes such as Malta, Ireland or Luxembourg.

Oettinger told Italian MPs that the Commission wants to make more efforts on migrants, who are “a European challenge”.

“We must help more financially those countries most affected,” he said.