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France says EU can implement global minimum tax without Hungary

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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the European Union can deliver the global minimum corporate tax with or without the support of Hungary, circumventing Budapest’s veto earlier this month just as the bloc was on the brink of a agreement, according to Bloomberg.

“This global minimum tax will be implemented in coming months with or without the consent of Hungary,” Le Maire told journalists at a briefing in Paris. “Europe can no longer be held hostage by the ill will of some of its members.”

The EU’s inertia in getting the unanimous backing for the minimum levy has cast a shadow over a global deal that other countries including the the US also need to approve. 

Le Maire, who has championed the tax overhaul in Europe, has informed US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that he is working with the European Commission on the possible use of article 329 of EU treaties. That would allow a group of countries to move ahead with the measure without the required unanimity of a directive for all states. 

“The final blockage from Hungary has absolutely nothing to do with minimum tax on companies,” Le Maire said. “I will never give up anything on this.”