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EU ministers discuss fighting tax evasion

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) -- European Union finance ministers are seeking ways to strengthen the fight against tax evasion and multinational corporations' aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 28-nation European Union, said the officials would debate the issue at their meeting in Vilnius Saturday.

EU officials say tax fraud and firms' aggressive cross-border schemes to avoid taxes cost the bloc's governments an estimated 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) a year at a time of sluggish growth and belt tightening across Europe.

The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem also sought to allay concerns over disagreements among finance ministers that emerged Friday on the bloc's banking union, saying the discussion was only "cannon shots going back and forth" and a compromise will be reached by year's end.