The European Commission today approved a German request for several sectors to be exempted from its national energy tax programme, ending long-running negotiations between EU competition commissioner Mario Monti and Germany's finance minister Hans Eichel. Approval was granted for ten years for all but one of the requested exemptions. This is the first time that ten-year exemptions have been allowed under new guidelines for environmental state aid adopted on 1 January last year (EED 03/01/01).
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