September 1, 2012

Germany slams France over fuel tax cut

France’s Socialist government has come under a broadside of criticism in Germany for artificially lowering the cost of petrol and diesel at the pump.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici announced Tuesday that the government and oil firms had agreed to split the burden of a six-euro-cent cut per litre for petrol and diesel over the next three months.

Paris insists that this temporary measure has been put in place to give the government time to work out a long-term strategy to keep the cost of fuel down.

And despite polls showing 78% of Germans favour a similar intervention, the German government and the press wholeheartedly rejected copying the French initiative.

“We do not believe that cutting taxes will have a lasting effect on reducing the price of fuel,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday, adding that any positive impact on the French economy from the measure would be “very short term”.

“Lowering the cost of fuel is not the government’s job,” Seibert said.

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