France to deny virus bailout funds to companies linked to tax havens

Europe © RFI/Jan van der Made
APR 23, 2020 LISTEN
© RFI/Jan van der Made

France says it will ban companies registered in offshore tax havens from receiving government aid to help stem the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. 

Following similar moves by Denmark and Poland, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday said that such companies would be ineligible for France's 110 billion euro rescue package – 4 billion euros of which is earmarked for struggling start-ups.

"If a company has its tax headquarters or subsidiaries in a tax haven, I want to say with great force, it will not be able to benefit from state financial aid," finance minister Le Maire told France Info on Thursday.

The comments come after earlier warnings from Le Maire that companies who buy back their own shares or pay dividends during the crisis will not receive government support.

France has promised generous financial relief to thousands of companies facing collapse as a result of the country's strict lockdown that has been in place since 17 March.

Twenty-four billion euros will assist laid-off workers in the private sector, while 7 billion will help out small businesses and independent workers crippled by the lockdown.

The government has warned that not all businesses will be able to go back to work immediately once the lockdown is gradually lifted on 11 May.

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