Oil sector to pay part of energy rebate

29th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The federal government has decided to repay its EUR 100 million loan to the oil sector by 1 April, but remains adamant the industry should partly fund its heating oil rebate.

29 March 2006

BRUSSELS — The federal government has decided to repay its EUR 100 million loan to the oil sector by 1 April, but remains adamant the industry should partly fund its heating oil rebate.

The EUR 100 million was used as a loan from the oil sector several months ago to help fund the rebate aimed at offsetting the high cost of energy for consumers.

And Finance Minister Didier Reynders said on Tuesday he will repay the loan by 1 April to avoid paying interest.

However, the government is still demanding the oil sector contribute to the rebate and has asked it to yield EUR 20 million into government coffers.

Negotiations with the sector will continue on Wednesday and the government needs to make a final decision tonight.

Budget Minister Freya Van den Bossche — who is under relentless pressure over the issue — wants the oil industry to pay EUR 60 million.

However, media reports suggest the government will not receive this amount and could even gain less than its minimum demand of EUR 20 million.

This would represent a small victory for Van den Bossche because the oil sector has consistently said it will not contribute anything to the rebate.

However, the Socialist SP.A minister will be left tarnished after initially demanding the oil sector bear the full extent of the rebate's costs.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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