Sweetheart tax deals in Luxembourg, Belgium spike

The number of sweetheart tax deals between EU member country governments and multinational firms are increasing, especially in Luxembourg and Belgium, according to a report published Wednesday.

The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), an NGO, analyzed European Commission data from 17 EU countries and Norway, and found special tax arrangements for foreign companies had increased 160 percent to 1,444 deals by the end of 2015, up from 547 in 2013.

The most dramatic jumps in sweetheart arrangements occurred in Belgium and Luxembourg, according to Eurodad.

The Commission has been on a mission to tighten tax rules across the EU after the Luxleaks scandal, in which whistleblowers revealed the fact that multinational companies had struck favorable tax deals with authorities in Luxembourg to avoid paying taxes in other EU countries.