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EU leaders agree to pause austerity, speed up fight against tax evasion

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - EU officials, who gathered for a summit in Brussels on Wednesday, decided to ease the pace of austerity in order to prop up growth and emphasized the need to strengthen efforts to combat tax evasion.

As the Eurozone recorded its sixth quarter of recession last week, European leaders recognized the need to hold back austerity in the crisis-stricken region and to focus more on stimulating growth and employment.

Tax evasion was another important issue discussed at the summit. Britain, France and Germany suggested tightening EU regulation in order to prevent companies such as Google, Apple or Amazon from escaping paying taxes by taking advantage of loopholes.

"We must coordinate at a European level, harmonize our rules and come up with strategies to stop this," French President Francois Hollande said. It is estimated that annually the EU loses 1 trillion euros due to tax avoidance practices.

According to the official document released after the meeting: “The European Council agreed to accelerate work in the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. In particular, work will be taken forward as a matter of priority on promoting and broadening the scope of the automatic exchange of information at all levels.”

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