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FinMin Teodorovici denied allegations that he wanted to postpone a vote by the ECOFIN meeting a revised blacklist of tax havens

EU finance ministers adopted a revised blacklist for tax havens outside the bloc, overcoming Romania’s bid to postpone a vote to May. Politico.eu informs.

The move triples the roster to 15 countries, including Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates.

Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, who chaired Tuesday's ECOFIN ministers gathering in Brussels, told reporters beforehand that the Council likely would delay action.

Teodorovici's comments left the finance ministers confused, tax officials told POLITICO. The Council had tentatively agreed on the list on Monday night with the intention of unveiling the full upgrade on Tuesday.

That left Teodorovici “totally isolated,” said one official at the ECOFIN, which discussed the blacklist behind closed doors. Even European Commission tax chief Pierre “Moscovici was surprised by the support,” another official said.

Romania's Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, denied on Wednesday allegations that he wanted to postpone a vote by the ECOFIN meeting on a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, stressing that the list was unanimously voted.

Asked about media reports that at the ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, he would have refused to vote on the "blacklist of tax havens" and would have asked for a postponement until May, Teodorovici replied: "How do you know? You should listen to me more than to what others say. The list was voted on yesterday."

"You will have a complete answer from me on June 7. Those who understand what I mean will also make a connection with that date, when I explain also the logics of a minister who coordinates the entire Council of Ministers, in particular Romania's minister of finance, what the logics was behind the discussions in this council meeting related to this list of those jurisdictions that do not respect this tax regime," Eugen Teodorovici added.

He said that the Ministry of Finance can only have the position of the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the EU.

Asked about his vote at the ECOFIN meeting, Teodorovici said: "There is no other way to vote. Given that it was a vote, it was a unanimous one, otherwise the list would have not been approved."
According to media accounts, Teodorovici would have said that ECOFIN will probably come up with a postponement on a blacklist of tax havens.

The liberal senator (PNL – opposition) Florin Citu asked the premier Viorica Dancila for explanations if the vote for ECOFIN was to be postponed for the black list of the fiscal heavens during her visits to Oman and the Arab Emirates. The liberal accuses that minister Eugen Teodorovici tried to lobby for this on behalf of Romania.

‘Prime-minister Viorica Dancila I urge you to  answer publicly.1. during the visits to UAE and Oman were you asked and you promised during your mandate of Romania to postpone the vote ECOFIN for the black list of fiscal paradises? The minister of public finances of Romania  had as a mandate on your part to require the postponement of the vote on the black list of fiscal paradises through which terrorist activities are financed During the same period Eugen Teodorovici had a stop in Moscow on his way to Cuba. Russia and Cuba are two countries known internationally for using fiscal paradises to finance their activities of propaganda and not only’ the PNL senator finished.

The new list holds American Samoa, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

Blacklisted countries face restrictions on EU funding and investments from the European Investment Bank. EU governments can choose to add their own sanctions against the blacklisted countries, the same source informs.