Sarkozy wants French and German taxes to move closer

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday urged France and Germany to move tax and spending levels closer, in order to further integrate their two economies and boost the EU internal market.

Sarkozy made the call after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attended a French cabinet meeting.

"The convergence of our fiscal systems is an essential element of our economic integration and the deepening of the internal market in Europe," the president said in a statement.

France's overall tax burden wask 42.8 percent of GDP in 2008, while Germans paid only 39.5 percent. Sarkozy has promised not to raise taxes and public spending cuts are pending.

Sarkozy proposed that France's court of auditors and its German counterpart carry out a review of the two countries' tax and budget systems in order to coordinate levies on companies and individuals.

Schaeuble's presence at the cabinet meeting in Paris came after France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde attended a German cabinet meeting in March.

© 2010 AFP

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