Activists stage a protest on a mock tropical island beach representing a tax haven outside a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels, Belgium, December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
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European Union finance ministers adopted a blacklist of 17 jurisdictions deemed as tax havens Tuesday, in an unprecedented step to counter worldwide tax avoidance, although they did not agree on financial levies for the listed countries. To discourage the use of shell structures abroad, which in many cases are legal but may hide illicit activities, the EU in February began screening 92 jurisdictions seen as possible tax havens.The commission said none of the 28 members of the bloc can be classified as a tax haven, as all have agreed to respect EU tax standards.But anti-poverty and fair tax groups said that if screened against EU criteria, countries like Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Ireland would all be on the EU list.
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