The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has said he will use this weekend’s G7 summit to attempt to de-escalate tensions between the US and Iran and seek to overhaul the global corporate tax code to make corporations like Google and Amazon pay more.
World leaders including the US president Donald Trump, Britain’s Boris Johnson, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japan’s Shinzō Abe will meet in the French coastal resort of Biarritz this weekend at a tense moment for international relations clouded by transatlantic rifts over trade, Iran and the climate emergency.
Macron told reporters in Paris that he would meet Iranian officials ahead of the summit to make proposals to de-escalate tensions since Trump pulled the US out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
“We have made proposals either for a softening of sanctions or a compensation mechanism to enable the Iranian people to live better,” the French president told reporters, without giving more details.
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Macron warned of “a profound crisis for democracy in Europe and elsewhere”, saying it was up to leaders to defend and reinvent multilateralism, rethink capitalism and redefine modern democracy and “not leave it to nationalists”. He said the climate emergency was one of citizens’ biggest fears around the world and part of the growing anger at capitalism came from unfair tax systems.
The French president said he would push ahead with plans to overhaul what he called the “crazy” system in which tech giants – such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – were able to book profits in low-tax countries, no matter where revenue came from. He said they enjoyed something akin to a “permanent tax haven status”.
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