My vote is conditioned by the following reservation: In a single market, especially one with a single currency, it is to be expected that there will be demands for a level playing field across all business related matters, including taxation. So that competition will occur under conditions that are fair and transparent. However operational conditions for enterprises across the monetary area are not the same because in the real world, things shape up differently. Physical endowments are an obvious example of this. When the monetary zone operates as a federal system, or a so-called transfer union, mechanisms exist to ensure that those who are less well endowed with competitive attributes, received compensation for their handicaps. This is done by financial or other transfers, automatic or politically directed. None of this is possible in the euro zone. So calls for the harmonisation of tax structures, or even for “fairness” in so called tax competition, could inhibit even further the competitiveness of areas which find themselves at a disadvantage compared to better endowed areas within the monetary zone. In the absence of a well-organized transfer union, tax competition will remain a tool by which peripheral or disadvantaged regions can survive. The challenge is to make such competition transparent.

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