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EUROPEAN DIESEL TAXES STILL A MESS

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Months following promises to compromise on diesel taxes after widespread protests brought many...


BRUSSELS, Belgium — Months following promises to compromise on diesel taxes after widespread protests brought many European economies to a halt, the European Union (EU) has yet to figure out how to put the tax-breaks in to effect.

Fuel-tax waivers have been granted in France, Italy and the Netherlands. Germany, which refused to cave in to protesters’ demands, wants those tax breaks to end, claiming unfair competition.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, had to approve the exemptions for the waivers; the approval expired Dec. 31, and the tax breaks are in legal limbo while commissioners search for compromises. EU finance ministers are scheduled to meet in February to discuss how to implement the tax scheme.

The protests last fall were sparked by transport truck-drivers that were fed up with the skyrocketing price of diesel fuel.


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