Macron says 'not putting pressure' on Ireland over tax deal

Ireland has so far resisted signing up to the international framework for the taxation of multinationals, which is backed by the G20 and the OECD.

FILE: French President Emmanuel Macron. Picture: Yoan Valat/AFP

LONDON - French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he was "confident" of drawing Ireland into a global minimum tax regime agreed by the OECD, but that he wasn't "putting pressure" on Dublin.

"I want to believe that we will find the right path together in order to deliver a common framework and to deliver this minimum taxation," he said during a Dublin press conference with Taoiseach -- Ireland's prime minister -- Micheal Martin.

"I'm confident but I'm not putting pressure, I'm working with the Taoiseach," he added after talks with Martin.

Ireland has so far resisted signing up to the international framework for the taxation of multinationals, which is backed by the G20 and the OECD.

The plan would introduce a tax floor of 15% on the profits of the largest international firms.

Dublin has long pursued a policy of low corporate taxes, and its favourable 12.5% rate has allowed it to attract a host of US technology and pharmaceutical giants to set up their European headquarters in Ireland.

But Martin said he was not ruling out an agreement.

"We have had constructive engagement with the OECD process and we continue to have that," he said at the press conference, adding he had "reservations in respect of some aspects."

The Irish government has also recently launched a consultation on the issue.

"I know that in your country you have a debate, a public date, framed and organised by your government, which I think is a very good sign," said Macron.

"I respect the economic model of Ireland during the past decades and you delivered tremendous results," he added.

However, "the situation is quite different" now given the coronavirus pandemic, with governments racking up the debt to cope with its consequences, Macron warned.

Negotiations over the framework, which is due for implementation from 2023, will continue until October.

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