Luxembourg finance minister comments on US tax reform, eurozone reform, EU contribution.
Pierre Gramegna commented on a number of European and financial issues as he attended the European Union’s council on economic and financial affairs.
While in Brussels, Luxembourg’s finance minister was questioned on the EU’s future relationship with the UK, the eurozone reform as well as the US tax reform and the EU budget.
On the US tax reform, Gramegna said that while it was now being implemented, a number of issues still needed to be clarified. He said the most important thing for the EU was to show a united front so as to be able to “exercise the necessary pressure”.
Gramegna also briefly commented on the eurozone reform, saying the calendar was set and that by June the banking union and the European Stability Mechanism “will be consolidated and play a bigger role”, writes luxtimes.lu.
“We are working on [the eurozone reform], it’s very complex but I am optimistic that we can achieve it,” Gramegna added.
An Austrian reporter then asked him where Luxembourg stood on added contributions to the EU – but not before asking him what Lichtenstein thought of it.
Gramegna said that the Grand Duchy was ‘flexible’ on the issue.
“If we want to deepen the economic and monetary union and come closer together and need more money because of that, then we should do it … we would definitely not close that door,” the Democratic Party minister said, adding that the size of those contributions “obviously” needed to be discussed, writes luxtimes.lu.
The minister was also asked whether post-Brexit, the UK could still be trusted to keep high standards.
“I trust the UK all the time, I think the UK is a reliable partner, the UK has been a reliable partner inside the European Union, and it will be a reliable partner when it leaves the European Union, I have no doubt about that,” Gramegna said.
The minister also added that if a certain free-flow of goods between the bloc and the UK existed that standards had to be kept up.
“If you want total liberty on the one hand and do what you want on standards and other things, well then you cannot have a free entrance of goods. So that’s how it balances out,” the finance minister explained.
Luxembourg has been one of a few Europeans countries calling for the EU to give the UK a favourable Brexit deal to keep financial ties between the bloc and the island as smooth as possible.