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Italy’s PM says any decision on web tax is sovereign one

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Italy's prime minister said on Wednesday that any decision on the introduction of a digital tax that would hit U.S. tech giants falls within a country's sovereign sphere and ties with the United States can have no bearing in such a matter.

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives for the NATO summit in Watford, Britain, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

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MILAN: Italy's prime minister said on Wednesday that any decision on the introduction of a digital tax that would hit U.S. tech giants falls within a country's sovereign sphere and ties with the United States can have no bearing in such a matter.

Addressing a press conference in London after a NATO summit, Giuseppe Conte said Italy's relationship with Washington would always remain a very important one and Rome did not expect any U.S. tariffs that could damage Italian companies.

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"The United States is fundamental and we will always maintain a privileged connection with it but when it comes to…policy decisions we're a sovereign state," he said in answer to a question on the introduction of a digital tax and possible retaliation from Washington.

"We can exchange opinions and evaluations, but then it's the sovereign state that decides."

Italy's 2020 budget introduces a 3per cent levy on revenue from internet transactions for digital companies with sales of at least 750 million euros, at least 5.5 million euros of which are reaped in Italy.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly said the levy unfairly targets U.S. firms. Two other major EuRead More – Source

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