EU voices support for migrant fuel tax idea

Berlin, January 30

A German proposal for a continent-wide fuel tax to help finance the absorption of migrants has won backing from the European commissioner for the euro, news magazine Spiegel reported today.

Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had last week floated the idea of introducing a tax on petrol in Europe to help cover the costs of tackling the continent’s worst migration crisis since World War II.

“A fuel tax, at a national or European level, could be a possible source of financing, especially if you take into account petrol prices are at a historical low,” Valdis Dombrovskis told the magazine.

“I agree with Mr Schaeuble, we need fresh ideas in Europe to deal with the refugee crisis,” said Dombrovskis, who is also the European Commission’s vice president.

Schaeuble’s suggestion triggered a welter of criticism, including from within the ranks of his CDU conservative party.

The party’s Vice President Julia Kloeckner rejected the plan on grounds it amounted to telling taxpayers it was up

to them to foot the bill for the influx of refugees.