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GDF Suez’s Belgian Units Accused of Tax Evasion: L’Echo

Belgium’s tax authorities have accused Electrabel SA and other Belgian units of France’s GDF Suez SA of evading 285 million euros ($369 million) in taxes between 2003 and 2008, L’Echo reported, saying GDF Suez spokesman Kristof Scheldeman confirmed the allegations.

GDF Suez contests the accusations of tax evasion, which allegedly took place via Electrabel subsidiaries in Luxembourg, the Belgian newspaper said. Scheldeman didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail today from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

Another spokesman for GDF Suez, Guy Dellicour, confirmed the accuracy of the newspaper report and said the company has paid the sum sought by Belgium and has taken the matter to a Belgian court in an effort to recover the money. He said a decision by the court is due next year.

“There’s a long discussion about this case,” Dellicour said by phone today in Brussels. “Belgian authorities think they have to tax again what we declared in Luxembourg. We have followed all rules. It’s a conflict of legal interpretation. We await the court decision and are confident of the outcome.”

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