The newly elected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has denied allegations he encouraged tax avoidance when he was Luxembourg’s prime minister.
Jean-Claude Juncker, 59, said there was “nothing in my past to indicate that I wanted to encourage tax evasion”.
He has come under pressure over claims that some 340 global companies were granted deals to help them avoid tax during his 18 years in office.
The Commission has begun an investigation.
Jean-Claude Juncker, 59, took over as president of the Commission at the start of November and was confronted within days with a report by investigative journalists that alleged that companies such as Pepsi and Ikea had made deals with his country’s government to save billions in tax in other countries.
Incumbent PM Xavier Bettel was quoted as saying all deals abided by international tax rules, although Jean-Claude Juncker made no comment at the time.
In an unexpected appearance before journalists on November 12, the Commission President repeated the message.
“Everything that has been done has been in compliance with national legislation and international rules that apply in this matter,” he said.
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