A group of about a hundred French activists gathered together to occupy the Paris Apple Store near the Paris Opera for several hours this past weekend in an attempt to shame the tech company into paying the billions the European Union (EU) says it owes in back taxes. The activists were from an anti-globalization group called Attac, and they held multiple other peaceful protests across Paris in addition to the Apple Store occupation. According to international news agency Agence France-Presse, Attac spokesperson Aurélie Trouvé said they refused to leave the premises until they were granted a meeting with company higher-ups:
"We received a formal commitment from an Apple manager that we would be granted a meeting with national leadership within 15 days. If this meeting does not take place, we will come back before Christmas."
All of this was in response to the EU's August 2016 claim that Apple has accrued a debt of €13 billion ($14.5 billion US) in dodged taxes by taking its earnings and processing them through multiple different nations, including the island of Jersey — an independently administered Crown dependency that often doesn't tax corporate income and is, for the most part, not subject to EU tax regulations. Apple, however, maintains that it has followed the laws of each country in which it operates.
This isn't the first time Attac has attempted to battle Apple's supposed tax-evading practices — the group also held a protest last month after the release of Apple's newest flagship device, the iPhone X. They reportedly dumped a bunch of apples (the fruit, not the tech) in a demonstration in Aix-en-Provence as members held signs demanding Apple pay what it owes to the EU.
As of yet, Apple France hasn't commented on the incident.
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