Tensions Over EU Migration, Taxation, and Italy’s Budget Discussed at Davos


Today, the tensions between the members of the European Union were highlighted during the World Economic Forum that is held in Davos. The leaders of the bloc clashed over issues that involved taxation and migration.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, said that the bloc was divided from north to south and east to west over the action on refugees and the handling of the commission of the budget of Italy for 2019, creating a “total lack of trust” between its members.

Rutte said that western members of the European Union had shouldered the burden of the refugee crisis as compared to the eastern countries.

He stated: “There is a total lack of solidarity on the issue of the refugee problem… it can not be that countries like Germany and the Netherlands and Sweden have to basically shoulder this burden.”

Rutte continued to say that the distrust that is created by the treatment of the EU’s Commission’s on Italy over its budget divided the European Union between northern and southern countries.

He stated: “[People ask] if Italy can get away with not implementing what we have collectively agreed ..why should we?”

He added: “[It creates] distrust between north and south, and given those dividing lines I’m not optimistic about whether we can achieve on competitiveness, reform…and climate change.”

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, countered that the eastern European country had welcomed “millions” of refugees who are migrating from Ukraine.

He added that the bloc should impose a crackdown on the use of tax havens that utilise their power “to the detriment of other countries.”

Ireland has been criticised by other EU countries for its low corporate tax rate.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, stated: “I think big companies should pay their taxes, should pay them in full and pay them where they are owed.”