There’s been a very mixed reaction online to Fine Gael’s Paschal Donohue becoming new Chairman of the Euro Finance Group
The Eurogroup has voted Paschal Donohue as chairman as the continent braces for severe recession. The Fine Gael TD will helm the EU’s body of finance ministers as the continent braces for the worst recession since the 2008 crash.
Beating his counterparts from Spain and Luxembourg for the top job after two rounds of votes in Brussels, the Dubliner will assume his new position on July 13th and remain until 2022. The 19 nation bloc’s economy has shrunk by a devastating 8.7% this year due to the economic strain of Covid-19, though should the virus come under control by 2021 experts believe it could grow by 6.1%.
Donohue has served as Irish Finance Minister since 2017, and is a staunch supporter of the country’s 12.5% corporation tax. In 2018 researchers from universities in California and Denmark declared Ireland the largest tax haven on Earth, which the Minister described as ‘overly simplistic and totally inaccurate’. Some 90 billion euro was shifted through Ireland by multinationals in 2015 alone, more than all of the Carribean island havens combined.
He is against a proposed EU tax on digital firms, suggesting a more globalised approach. Donohue is also a regular attendee of the Davos and Bilderberg summits, annual meetings of the world’s elite business and political classes. The latter has been heavily criticised for its lack
of transparency and accountability.
Among his many new challenges will be easing the divisions between the Eurozone’s northern and southern blocs. The more wealthy north (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium etc.) promote EU checks on national budgets, while the less prosperous south (Spain, Italy, Greece etc.) are in favour of more fiscal autonomy.
In a statement following his appointment, the Minister claimed he would ‘seek to build bridges amongst all members (…) to ensure that we have a consensus based approach to the recovery of our economies and societies.’
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