Toledo and Mateu during the event./ Photo: Casa de América
Eduardo González. 07/02/2018
The síndic general (president) of the Parliament of Andorra, Vicenç Mateu, thanked Spain, yesterday in Madrid, for its support to the negotiations of the association agreement with the EU and to the candidacy to host the Ibero-American Summit 2020, while remembering that his country meets all the transparency standards and that it cannot be considered a tax haven.
The Ibero-American Summit “would be the most complicated challenge that we have managed since the passing of Hannibal through the Pyrenees”, Mateu declared in the Tribune EFE-Casa de América, organized at this institution’s headquarters in Madrid on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Principality’s Constitution. During the same event, the secretary of State for the European Union, Jorge Toledo Albiñana, reiterated Spain’s support to the Summit’s celebration.
“We are very glad to receive all the presidents of the Ibero-American countries and it would be a reason for King Felipe VI to visit Andorra”, continued the Andorran síndic general, who remembered that Mariano Rajoy made, in January 2015, “the first visit of a Spanish president of Government to Andorra”, a visit that took place in the middle of the offensive of the Principality to put an end to its image of tax haven. Spain stopped considering it as such in February 2011.
The president of the Andorran Parliament thanks Spain for its support to the Ibero-American Summit 2020
In relation to this, Mateu affirmed yesterday that “Andorra has never made the strategic decision of being a tax haven”. In the past, he continued, the country’s administration “was much more reduced” than today and “those taxes for the import of products were enough to complete the budgets”. “We were told that we were a tax haven because we did not collect taxes, but, what would we collect taxes for?”, he warned.
The financial crisis of 2008, he admitted, “forced us to carry out reforms, to be internationally open and to create an approvable tax system, introducing, for the first time, corporation and income taxes”. Furthermore, the country signed agreements with Spain, France and Portugal to avoid double taxation, signed an agreement with Spain on the exchange of fiscal information and signed the multilateral agreement on tax regulations of the OECD. “Andorra is perfectly aligned with the transparency standards and, certainly, it is not a tax haven”, he stated.
During his speech, Mateu refused to give his opinion about Catalonia’s crisis, “a Spanish domestic issue” that must be solved through “the respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. The event was attended by the Spanish Ambassador to Andorra, Manuel Montobbio, and the Andorran Ambassador to Madrid, Jaume Gaytán, as well as by numerous representatives of other countries.