The country’s top constitutional body has voted to impose a tax on sugary drinks — a so-called “soda tax” — beginning Jan. 1 that is expected to help close its budget deficit.
The measure, which was announced in August and passed last week in Parliament, figures to add 120 million euros in state revenues and maybe trim some waistlines in the process.
Coca-Cola is among the companies that slammed the move, saying, “It stigmatizes our product,” according to eater.com.
Coke announced in September that, in “a symbolic protest against a tax that punishes our company,” it was pulling back on a 17 million euro investment at a plant in the south of France, according to the international news organization AFP and published on yahoo.com.
The tax increases soda costs by about one euro cent per can.
Besides the soda tax, an increase to the reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on some goods and services was dropped from 5.5 percent to 7.0 percent on Dec. 28 by the Constitutional Court, AFP reported.
VAT was adopted in 2009 in an effort to stimulate the country’s economy.
France said it needs to cut 100 billion euros from its budget by 2016. So far, in an effort to keep its triple-A credit rating, it has announced 65 billion in savings, on top of an economic package approved in August that will cut its deficit by 12 billion euros.
—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM