Federal Minister of the Environment Jürgen Trittin defends the Eco-Tax (April 20, 2004)
In their election platforms, Bündnis 90/The Greens and the SPD had called for an “ecological tax reform” to protect natural resources and encourage the population to use less energy. To this end, after assuming the reins of government, the parties passed the "First Step toward an Ecological Tax Reform Act," which took effect on April 1, 1999. As part of this legislation, an electricity tax was introduced in the form of a new consumer tax, and the gasoline tax was gradually raised. At the same time, however, the energy-intensive production sector was granted tax breaks to ensure that German industry would remain internationally competitive. Taken on April 20, 2004, this photograph shows Federal Minister of the Environment Jürgen Trittin discussing the Federal Constitutional Court's ruling on the eco-tax, which he viewed as an “impressive confirmation” thereof. The court had rejected the constitutional complaints of several forwarding agents and refrigerated warehouse companies. Photo: Peer Grimm.
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