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Business

Eichel said to Urge EU Internet VAT

German Finance Minister Hans Eichel wants the European Union to coordinate the levying of value-added tax on trade done over the Internet, according to a report in the Bild Zeitung newspaper. "Too much is missed by value-added tax," Eichel told the paper, according to Bloomberg News. "The taxation of Internet trade has to be agreed at the European level and then controlled more closely." Eichel told the paper he is against introducing any new types of taxation. Asked whether he is considering a tax on cell-phone text messages as Italy has been, he said: "That's out of the question." Eichel is looking for alternatives to close a €10 billion ($13 billion) budget gap and meet the European Union's deficit limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product next year. He plans to sell debt and assets linked to pensions and freeze wages for state employees, he said earlier this month. (Bloomberg)