German ecotaxes defended as rates rise again

Environment agency puts employment benefit at 60,000 extra jobs this year alone

Germany's environment agency has again defended the government's ecotax programme as tax rates on motor fuels and electricity rose on 1 January for the fourth consecutive year. Interim results from modelling due to be published in full this spring show that 60,000 jobs should be created in 2002 alone, the agency said on Thursday.

Ecological tax reform is one of the Red/Green government's flagship environmental policies. It is also one of its most controversial. Renewed protests by car drivers and hauliers have bubbled up with each New Year tax rise, and opposition parties have sought to kill off further increases (EED 16/02/01).

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