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Hollande meeting football chiefs over feared 75% tax

© Photo: AFP

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2013-10-31

French President François Hollande was meeting on Thursday a delegation representing professional football clubs, which have voted to go on strike if his government implements a planned 75% tax on salaries over one million euros.

President François Hollande  was meeting the presidents of some of France’s most prestigious football clubs on Thursday to discuss his government’s plan to impose a 75% payroll tax on employees who earn more than one million euros per year.

Representatives of France’s first and second division professional football teams have said that the large levy will endanger the future of many clubs that are already heavily indebted. They fear the tax will make it impossible to compete with German and English clubs for star players.

They have voted to go on strike during the last weekend in November, interrupting the regular Ligue 1 football season.

Taxing France’s highest incomes at 75% was one of the signature promises Hollande made during his successful 2012 presidential campaign.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Thursday that French people “would not understand why football companies should be exonerated” from the tax, a signal that Hollande does not intend to budge.

“During difficult times it is normal to call on those who are better off to show more solidarity,” Ayrault told the "Kommersant" newspaper in Russia, where he is on an official two-day visit.

Ayrault reiterated  that the tax would only last two years and was only applicable to salaries that exceeded one million euros.

Earlier this week, France’s government back-pedalled on a new  “ecotax” on transport vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes after angry truckers and farmers in the western Brittany region staged protests and closed highways.

Date created : 2013-10-31

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