Fiat Chairman said group never tried not to pay taxes in Italy

BAGNIA, ITALY (REUTERS) - Fiat Chairman John Elkann, at the centre of a political controversy in Italy over plans by truck and tractor maker Fiat Industrial to move its fiscal residence to Britain, said his group had never tried not to pay taxes in Italy,

"This is just argument for argument's sake, it is not the reality. No one ever tried not to pay taxes in Italy," Mr Elkann told reporters.

In a statement earlier this week Fiat Industrial said it had decided to move the fiscal domicile of the company created by its planned merger with CNH to the United Kingdom to put shareholders on the same level as those of its main competitors.

The company also said it paid 5 per cent of the total tax attributable to the group in Italy, where Fiat Industrial is headquartered.