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The European Commission President wants to borrow up to €500 billion to bailout pandemic-stricken regions and industries. In a move towards a full-blown European superstate, the German will propose a series of new EU taxation powers to help fund her spending plans. Brussels would take charge of borrowing cash from international markets before deciding where handouts are made available as grants.
Mrs von der Leyen’s strategy has whipped up controversy with some member states demanding a shift towards low-cost loans and attaching strict political conditions for accessing the fund.
Most of the cash is expected to be directed towards Italy and Spain, the EU’s worst-hit countries during the pandemic.
Under the plans drawn up by the Commission, future green taxes on airlines and shipping companies and an EU-wide plastics tax.
Setting out her blueprint to the European Parliament, Mrs von der Leyen will say Brussels should also be allowed to tap into revenues from carbon duties on all imports into the Continent.
A new digital tax could see an “operations” rate slapped on companies with a turnover larger than €752 million.
Member states will also be expected to drastically increase their budget contributions to pay for the EU’s new tax and spend ambitions.
Before the plans can be rolled out, they must receive unanimous backing from European capitals.
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