EU Leaders to discuss tax evasion at May summit - Van Rompuy

BRUSSELS, April 12 Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:57am EDT

BRUSSELS, April 12 (Reuters) - European Union leaders will discuss tax evasion at their next summit in May, the president of the European Council said on Friday, underlining the need to combat an issue that causes up to 1 trillion euros of lost income in the EU each year.

"Tax evasion is unfair to citizens who work hard and pay their share of taxes for society to work," Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement to be released via the Internet.

"That's why I have decided to put it on the agenda of our next meeting of the European Council on the 22nd of May. We must seize the increased political momentum to address this crucial problem."

Van Rompuy said around one trillion euros was lost in EU member states each year because of tax avoidance.

"To give you an idea, one trillion euros is about the same as the entire GDP or total income of Spain, the fifth biggest economy of the European Union," he said.

"And it is one hundred times more than the loan that was recently agreed for Cyprus."

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