Uruguay’s President, José Mujica said on Monday that Argentina had nothing to do with the comment made by France’s leader Nicolas Sarkozy indicating that Uruguay was a “tax haven.”
In conversations with Uruguayan media, Mujica played down the rumours saying that President Cristina Fernández (and Brazil) had pushed several G-20 members to aim cannons at the neighbouring country due to its tax policies.
According to Uruguayan government sources Mujica was on the phone with Cristina Fernandez over the weekend. Although the issues addressed were not revealed it is believed that Sarkozy’s comments were one of them.
“I’ve taken my decisions, and for the moment I will remain quiet”, said Mujica. He added that he wasn’t sure if president Sarkozy was aware that “Uruguay has a cooperation agreement with France on financial and taxing issues”.
Last Friday, while addressing the G-20 summit, Sarkozy urged the international community to “isolate Uruguay and another list of ten countries, because it is a tax haven.”
The French president statements promptly generated a formal complaint from the Uruguayan government.
President Mujica’s wife and Senator, Lucía Topolansky, revealed that her husband will meet with Cristina Fernández and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff “in order to clarify the whole matter”.
Mujica is scheduled to travel to Brazil Tuesday morning, while on Friday will sit down with Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires.
Likewise Vice-President Danilo Astori announced that Uruguay would be convening Mercosur partners to establish the rules for the exchange of fiscal and taxing information.
“Our intention is to follow a path taking into account the proposals from OEDC staff and which has two main aspects: one refers to the names of the proprietors of societies registered in the country and the other the exchange of fiscal data” said Astori.
He added Uruguay “wanted to reach an agreement calling on all Mercosur members so we can address the issues from a multilateral point of view”.
Astori made the statement following a meeting with representatives from the ruling coalition and later with opposition leaders.
“Uruguay wants to show its commitment to transparency and ensure that the tax burden is distributed as it must. And that is going to be in the framework of the Mercosur meeting and I’m convinced that we are going to find a favourable echo to that respect”.