France Enforces "Millionaire Tax", Germany Sets Agenda for 2014
"The companies that pay out remuneration above 1 million euros will, as expected, be called upon for an effort of solidarity on remuneration paid in 2013 and 2014" - France's Economy Ministry
French President Francois Hollande's controversial "millionaire's tax" has finally received an approval from the country's highest court, saying that the proposal by the Socialist President was in line with the law. Companies will be obliged to pay 75% tax on all annual salaries, which exceed one million euros. The proposal that infuriated business leaders and soccer clubs, which threatened to go on strike should the law be enforced, was originally rejected by the Council, claiming that it was illegal to levy taxes on individuals rather than on households. However, in a ruling published on Sunday, the Council admitted that a reformulated tax, which makes employers liable for the 75% tax on salaries, conforms with France's constitution.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will continue dealing the Eurozone crisis, while setting agenda for 2014, which includes aspects from online spying to energy policy. The main challenges of 2014 will be the same as in 2013. Germany's sound economic performance will be top priority to the Chancellor. Debt ceiling, budgetary discipline, closing tax gaps will also be all on the government's agenda. Wolfgang Schauble, German Finance Minister, plans to create about six billion euros of new debt in the year of 2014, the lowest amount of new debt in four decades. The government's intention to do away with new debt in 2015 largely depends on both tax income and overall economic health.