The EU is not blacklisting Turkey for tax havens. The country refuses to share tax information with the EU member states but, according to EU sources, is again given a postponement to put its affairs in order.
Ankara had already been reprimanded early last year and had been given until December 31 to ensure automatic exchange of tax information with EU member states. According to Turkey, this was not possible on time due to all kinds of administrative delays. According to insiders, the EU is now giving the country a new respite until September 1.
The matter is sensitive. Several EU countries Netherlands, Greece and Cyprus, think that Turkey has had plenty of time and favour the measure to blacklist the country of countries that do not cooperate in the fight against tax avoidance.
The other Member States, including Germany, do not want to pressure the problematic relationship between the EU and Turkey. For example, according to the EU, tensions about the illegal Turkish gas drilling operations near Greece and Cyprus have eased again.
EU finance ministers were due to meet on Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the list, but the issue was taken off the agenda after lower-level member states agreed on the postponement. The decision will be formally handled by the foreign ministers next week.
The blacklist for tax havens only includes countries and regions outside the European Union. The authorities levy (almost) no corporate tax, are not transparent or are unwilling to fight against tax avoidance. There are currently twelve on it, including Barbados, Panama and the US Virgin Islands.