This week we have participated in the Madrid Fashion Week together with MALNE and Eutopía 2016 in Cordoba with Spanish agency ‘Agencia Comunicación y Género’ which works to tackle gender issues by opening up lines of communication.
Last Monday, the Del Canto Chambers team was present on the catwalk at the 64th Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Madrid.
During the fashion show put on by MALNE (one of the companies that we advise) it became clear that Spanish couture has a great history. Based in Madrid and with a presence in Qatar through La Boutique Blanche, Paloma Alvarez and Juanjo Máñez, who have been Roberto Verino’s ateliers for decades, launched their own brand and surprised the audience with an elegant collection inspired by the seventeenth century Spanish fashion house, Cervantes.
Our participation in the Young Creation Festival ‘Eutopia 2016’ in Cordoba is another great example of how Andalusia is recognized for its excellent cultural work. Director of the aforementioned Spanish agency, Isabel Mastrodomenico (whom we also advise) participated in an interesting discussion entitled “The gender of culture. Communicating with a gender perspective” at the headquarters of the Andalusian Institute of Youth.
Many people took part in a discussion on cultural communication and media from a gender perspective, including professor of Civil Law at the UCO and Chairman of the Andalousian Ateneos Antonio Manuel Rodríguez Ramos; journalist and scientific communicator, Elena Lazaro Real; SER radio station’s journalist María José Martínez; and sociologist, singer and feminist activist, Lourdes Pastor Martínez.
The event opened with a performance by Lourdes Pastor, singer and activist whose lyrics inspired the discussion, in which it became clear that equality issues are progressing, albeit slowly. Work should start from the bottom up, with organization, solidarity and perseverance. As noted by Isabel Mastrodomenico “it is not only about incorporating new laws to our system, but ensuring that through associations and citizens’ networks we continue to make demands to government institutions with regards to complying with existing equality laws.”
In the international arena, we analyze the open investigation on American fast food giant, McDonald’s, by the European Commission, which has claimed back around 446 million euros for overdue taxes in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
McDonald’s has been accused of not paying enough corporation tax on the profits of its European subsidiaries, by taking advantage of two tax agreements signed with Luxembourg in 2009. The multinational is defending itself against allegations that between 2011 and 2015 they paid 2,232 million euros in taxes at the Grand Duchy.
This investigation is part of the actions that the European Union is taking in implementing Directive 2016/1164 and the BEPS OECD project against international tax evasion, in addition to recent research that the EC has also opened investigation against other multinationals such as Apple, Amazon and Google.
Another issue we have dealt with this week has been the ;ack of trade relations between Qatar and the UK, especially in the context of international financial uncertainty generated by Brexit. At a lunch organized in Doha by the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA), the Secretary of State for International Trade and president of the British Chamber of Commerce, Liam Fox, and the UK ambassador in Qatar, Ajay Sharma, highlighted the importance of maintaining these ties.
In this regard, the host of the meeting, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, called for the continuation of trade relations between the two countries and “the enhancement of cooperation in the private sector.”
Finally, we have noted the slow but sure improvements happening in the property market in Spain. During the first quarter of 2016 homes have been revalued by an average of 6.3% in our country, according to data from the Institute of National Statistics (INE) in its quarterly study on indexes of housing prices (IPV), which is driving away fears of a second property bubble in our country.
As the last week of summer draws to a close, we at Del Canto Chambers wish to continue offering our followers helpful information on tax and commercial matters. We look forward to keeping you updated throughout the autumn.
Xavier Nova (@xavinova)
Director of Del Canto Chambers