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Officials deny talks of Germany-EU solidarity tax

Officials have dismissed a report saying that Berlin and Brussels want a new tax to help with the refugee crisis. The report had said the tax would have been a Europe-wide initiative.

German and EU officials denied the newspaper report on Saturday, insisting there was no interest in a European solidarity tax to assist with the ongoing refugee crisis.

"The fact remains: we don't want tax increases in Germany or to introduce an EU tax," government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

A European Commission spokesman also released a statement denying such a proposal existed.

Earlier on Saturday, a major German newspaper reported that discussions have been taking place between the government and EU authorities on creating a European solidarity tax to help carry the costs of the ongoing refugee crisis.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, additional revenues from the tax, which could come in the form of a surcharge on petroleum or by raising sales tax, would go directly into the EU's budget.

Some of that money would go to countries such as Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece, to help secure their open borders. Another portion of the money would go to countries that serve as popular destinations in order to provide for the refugees there. Finally, a portion of the money would go to the refugees' countries of origin, in order improve living conditions there, the paper said.

Germany has pushed for a more pan-European approach to solving the refugee crisis, an attitude also supported by the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and some other member states.

blc/tj (AFP, dpa)

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