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SPD, Greens Want More Expensive Air Travel

Germany's ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens want to put a damper on the burgeoning market for cheap flights in Europe. Members of both parties proposed upping taxes on airplane fuel and tickets for international flights in order to create an equal playing field for plane and train travel companies. Currently, value added tax is charged on train tickets, but not on plane tickets. And unlike fuel for cars, airplane fuel is not subjected to a mineral oil tax. In a joint proposal, the SPD and Greens have appealed to the government to do away with these differences, while at the same time requesting a reduction in value added tax on long distance train tickets to make train travel cheaper. The issue is likely to come before parliament this autumn, though a spokesperson from the German finance ministry told daily Berliner Zeitung that the government currently has no intention of making air travel more expensive.