Brussels advocates Google tax creation global scale and says it needs these funds to finance social programs - After a few months of truce due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union is back on its offensive to add support to launch a global tax on the digital revenues of large technology companies. This measure, known in Spain as the Google tax, has been generating disputes between the EU and the United States for more than a year and has motivated US President Donald Trump to threaten new tariffs if approved.
In this case, it was the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for Economic Affairs, Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis, who reiterated Brussels ' call for a global Google tax, and did so just a week after assuming Community Trade responsibilities following the resignation last Wednesday of the hitherto Commissioner for the subject, Irish Phil Hogan.
In particular, Dombrovskis pointed out to the Austrian Economic Forum Alpbach that" we need to address digital taxation, and we should preferably do it at the international level, especially since the digital economy is quite globalized", in statements collected by Reuters. The EC Economic vice-president has assured that "with a more digital economy, it also becomes a greater challenge for our tax revenues to finance our social and infrastructure programmes".
Brussels advocates Google tax creation global scale
In this way, the Commission's number 2 has recognised that the 27 need to levy taxes on the digital services provided by large technology companies in their territory in order to maintain their capacity to finance future projects, especially at a time when Brussels is beginning to implement the coronavirus Economic Recovery Fund, which is endowed with EUR 750 billion.
In the past, the EU has supported initiatives by its member countries to tax digital services as a way to avoid the tax networks that take advantage of the tax laws of the Netherlands and Ireland to circumvent most of their taxes. However, in recent months Brussels has moved to advocate for the Google tax to be applied globally, or failing that in the EU.
Thus, the EC foresees that a tax on digital services in the community could contribute some 1.300 million euros annually to its coffers. However, this plan clashes with the rejection of the United States, home country of the majority of major technologies, which has vetoed the design of this tax in the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and that managed to delay without date the implementation of its Google tax in the face of the threat of trade sanctions.
In fact, the possible retaliation from the United States has been a brake on the approval of the Google tax at community level, given that the 27 have already been in the middle of a trade war with Washington for more than 2 years. However, the search for international support by Brussels could help pass a global tax on the services of the big tech companies at a time when these companies are achieving historical levels of revenue.
End of Brussels advocates Google tax creation global scale
The first flying car could be closer than you think: a Japanese prototype has already completed its first flight piloted by a human
It was the 1880s when the first car was born. In the same way, a decade later the first successful aircraft was invented.
As the years go by and technologies advance, the world approaches the combination of these 2 concepts: the first flying car.
In this regard, the Japanese company SkyDrive has completed the first public tests of its flying car. And, although this was already one of the most advanced projects, it is the first time we have seen a functional prototype with passengers on board, according to The New York Times.
In a press release last Friday, SkyDrive mentioned that it had completed a flight test using a functional prototype of the SD-03, The company's new model capable of transporting a person by air.
The demonstration was controlled and very limited. Specifically, the flight time was 4 minutes, according to the company.
The flying vehicle stands out for its small size, with about 4 meters in length, another 4 in width, and 2 meters in height.
In addition, its designers have claimed that it fits in 2 parking spaces intended for normal cars.
The plane has one seat, so it is only able to carry one person at a time. It works thanks to 8 motors and 2 propellers in each corner.
During the demonstration, it was raised about 3 meters in the air and was operated by a pilot.
According to Tomohiro Fukuzawa, executive director of SkyDrive, 5 years ago there were several prototypes of flying cars, usually with fixed wings. However, he has assured that his company is one of the most compact in size and is one of the lightest.
SkyDrive was founded in 2012 by members of a volunteer organization called Cartivator, and the company began developing a flying car in 2014, according to its website.
This year, SkyDrive received funds from the Development Bank of Japan and other investors.
However, there are several companies that develop similar technology, including Boeing and Airbus, as well as car manufacturers Toyota and Porsche.
In addition, in January, Hyundai and Uber announced that they were collaborating on a fully electric air taxi.
But SkyDrive has already proved quite advanced. In fact, the Japanese government intends to implement a flying taxi service in Tokyo for 3 years, something in which the Japanese company could certainly have a lot to do, according to the Spaniard.
Morgan Stanley analysts expect urban air taxis to be common by 2040, with the global market projected to be between $ 1.4 and $ 2.9 trillion by then, according to The New York Times.
But safety is one of the 2 challenges that prevent technology from being widely used, according to Derya Aksaray, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
"These vehicles need to look at their surroundings, assess the situation and act accordingly," he said.
"They can't wait for a pilot or operator to say,' now do this, now do that.' We can't expect that kind of micromanagement of the vehicle," he added.
The other challenge is design, as they will have to be powerful enough to withstand any weight needed, but quiet enough to fly at undetermined low altitudes, he explained.
In addition, experts have explained that eVTOL machines will be more energy efficient than fuel-intensive helicopters, but less energy efficient than cars because they have to stand up themselves.
But reducing the costs of all small-scale development, research, deployment and manufacturing will be a challenge.