Smith Welcomes Spanish Tax Investigation

11 October 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed the decision from the European Commission to launch an official investigation into the provision of tax breaks to Spanish companies buying other companies overseas.

The investigation follows a series of complaints regarding takeovers bySpanish companies including one from Alyn Smith on the take over of Scottish Power by Iberdrola. The investigation will look at the state aid implications of Spain's corporate taxation regime in relation to overseas investments.

Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said

"I welcome this decision from the Commission. I asked for an investigation at the point Iberdrola were seeking to buy Scottish Power as it was clear to me Iberdrola had an unfair advantage.

"The Spanish tax break makes competition within the EU deeply unfair. If we are in a single market it must be a level playing field.

"The SNP raised this issue in relation to the takeover of Scottish Power and the Commission's decision today shows we were right to do so.

"Whilst the Spanish Government ensured the best possible position for it's companies in international markets, the UK Government failed to take any action and succeeded in making it easier for UK companies to be bought out.

"I look forward to the outcome of this investigation and to assurances that future takeovers within the EU will take place on a level playing field."