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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Press Releases

02.02.2006

Council President Schüssel: “200 million Europeans will benefit from this agreement”

 

On Wednesday evening, Council President and Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel presented the compromise reached in the dispute on reduced VAT rates in the Federal Chancellery together with Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser, the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zyta Gilowska, and EU Commissioner László Kovács.

"We have reached a compromise that represents an important success at the beginning of the Austrian Presidency. We discussed this difficult issue in a positive spirit and solved it together. 200 million people in Europe will benefit from this agreement", Schüssel said.

The Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zyta Gilowska also said she was satisfied with the compromise. She pointed out that failure in this matter would have been counterproductive for all countries concerned and for the general public.

"Today we have reached agreement in an important issue that 14 presidencies have so far been unable to solve. This outcome was made possible by the close liaison and efficient cooperation with the European Commission", Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser declared.

EU Commissioner László Kovács spoke of a 'best-case scenario' for Europe and praised the spirit of solidarity in the concluding round of negotiations. "I thank the Austrian Presidency of the Council for the enormous effort and good cooperation. Europe has gained as a result", Kovács said.

Background documents:

Reduced VAT rates: ECOFIN Council political agreement confirmed

Memorandum

 

Date: 05.02.2006