Tag Archives: Minister
FILE PHOTO – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
PARIS (Reuters) – A European Union-wide tax on the world’s top digital companies could be reached by the end of March, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview published on Sunday.
“We made a compromise offer to Germany in December and I am convinced that a deal is within arm’s reach between now and the end of March. With the European elections just a few months away, our citizens would find it incomprehensible if we gave up on this,” Le Maire told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
In December, European Union finance ministers failed to agree a tax on digital revenues, despite a last minute Franco-German plan to salvage the proposal by narrowing its focus to companies such as Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O).
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Daniel Wallis
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli cabinet minister called on Wednesday for a boycott of Airbnb and promoted one of its rivals, escalating the government’s response to the home-rental company’s decision to delist Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank.
A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie
“I call today on all those who support Israel and oppose discriminatory boycotts: they should cease using Airbnb and turn to other services,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told a diplomatic conference hosted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
“By the way, Booking.com is a great service,” added Erdan, the point-man in Israeli government efforts to combat pro-Palestinian boycotts.
Airbnb said on Monday it would remove some 200 settlement listings after hearing criticism from people who “believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced”.
Palestinians who want to establish an independent state taking in the West Bank have welcomed the San Francisco-based firm’s move. It does not apply to East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, other territories Israel captured in a 1967 war but which Israel has annexed, unlike the West Bank.
“Airbnb took a decision in the right direction to stop dealings with Israeli settlements, consistent with international legitimacy,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior official with the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, told Reuters.
“Erdan’s incitement comes in the course of continued attempts by the Israeli extremist government to intimidate companies, parties and individuals who try to try to take good decisions that agree with international resolutions.”
Human Rights Watch hailed Airbnb’s decision and, in a report on Tuesday, called on Booking.com to follow suit.
Booking.com and Airbnb did not immediately respond to Reuters emails seeking fresh comment.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, addressing Wednesday’s conference separately, backed Erdan’s call to boycott Airbnb and suggested Israel also deploy its own anti-discrimination laws.
Israel has said it would turn to the Trump administration and could back lawsuits against Airbnb within U.S. states that have legislated against anti-Israel boycotts.
In Israel, one 2017 law empowers courts to award cash compensation to claimants who prove they have been denied goods or services because of where they live.
“I checked yesterday with my office, with the attorney-general, whether we can operate this law, and the answer is positive,” Shaked said. “We need to do anything we can in order to fight them back in order that they will change their decision.”
Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Peter Graff
DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s finance minister said late on Saturday he wanted to “wipe out” a Philippines bank that was used to channel $ 81 million stolen from the Bangladeshi central bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year.
Abul Maal A. Muhith was responding to questions from reporters about a Reuters story on Friday that said Bangladesh Bank had asked the New York Fed to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) RCBS.PS seeking damages.
“The Bangladesh Bank has taken a decision (on filing a suit). They will let me know. We haven’t so far taken any steps as the Philippines government was taking care of it (investigating the heist),” Muhith said.
“But it seems Rizal bank has been playing delinquent. We want to wipe out Rizal bank from the world.”
Muhith did not elaborate. He did not respond to requests seeking comment.
Unidentified hackers stole the money using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system. The money was sent to accounts at RCBC and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $ 15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator. (reut.rs/2jk1W74)
The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos ($ 20 million) last year for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through it.
RCBC has said it would not pay any compensation to Bangladesh Bank and that Dhaka bank bore responsibility for the theft since it was negligent.
RCBC did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on a Sunday about Muhith’s comments.
Reporting by Serajul Quadir, Krishna N. Das, Ruma Paul and Karen Lema; Editing by Toby Chopra