In an interview with a leading Irish national newspaper, Apple’s Tim Cook has launched a full frontal assault on the EU, callings its ruling on Apple’s Ireland tax affairs “total political crap”.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Cook said he felt Ireland was being “picked on” and defended Apple’s tax affairs in the country, saying it had been the “highest taxpayer” in the country in the past.
Adding that he would “love” the Irish government to appeal the decision, which saw the EU slap Apple with a €13bn (about £11bn) respective tax bill, Cook proffered:
“I think we’ll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together…this is unacceptable.”
He also said that Apple would continue to invest in its Irish infrastructure, which include a substantial investment in Cork, despite the EU’s recent ruling.
While damning, Cook’s pronouncements are polite conversation compared to the rather more blunt declaration of outspoken Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who said that Ireland should tell the EU to “f*ck off” in a separate interview.
Of course, the current posturing on both sides is just the beginning of what will no doubt be a long and complicated legal process. While the end game can’t possibly be predicted at this early stage, one thing’s for sure – Apple vs the EU is going to be one hell of a ride.
Related: 7 things you need to know about the EU vs Apple tax drama
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Is the EU’s £11bn tax bill for Apple fair? Why Apple and not Amazon or Google? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.