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Rich nations now closer to tech tax deal

A global agreement to end the "race to the bottom" on corporate taxation is within sight, according to the French and German finance ministers.

France's Bruno le Maire said the G7 club of rich nations was "just one millimeter away from a historic agreement" on a global minimum rate.

He urged low tax states like Ireland to back a deal which would target tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft.

Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union, at 12.5%.

German finance minister Olaf Scholz said a 15% rate would help pay back Covid debt

Tax on big tech and multi-nationals has been a source of friction between the US and fellow G7 countries such as the UK.

Scholz said it was important to stop the world's biggest companies from dodging tax.

He said it was "absolutely necessary" to reach a deal in order to "get out of this race to the bottom we see with taxes today…especially after the Covid crisis and all the money we spent to defend the health of the people, and to defend the economy."

Le Maire added: "European countries, that in the past, opposed this new international tax system, must understand that they have to give the agreement this major breakthrough".