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Italian Banks To Return Tax Handouts, Says European Commission

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

14 December 2001


European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti has ruled that Italian banks must pay back the cash they had previously received in tax breaks after a European Commission investigation found that the tax breaks were illegal and contravened state aid rules.

Although it is uncertain as to just how much the banks must return some estimates are believed to be around US$2.5 billion. However, some analysts claim that as the Italian government froze the tax breaks when the investigation was launched, the amount could be lower.

Monti told reporters: 'In recent years, the Commission had examined state aid measures to banks in different member states with particular attention. Such measures distort competition and are obstacles to the development of a true single market in financial services, which would be to the advantage of consumers, savers and companies alike.'


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