Trittin retreats on energy tax programme

German environment minister worries that raising ecotax rates in 2005 would cause "public confusion"

German environment minister J├╝rgen Trittin has accepted even before a review due next year that national energy tax rates should not rise in 2005. The minister made his comments in Bild am Sonntag newspaper at the weekend.

Mr Trittin's environmentalist Green party championed successive rises in the ecotax or energy tax programme between 1999 and 2003 before being forced to accept a pause by its Social Democrat senior governing partners (EED 15/12/02).

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