Tue, Dec 11, 2012 - Page 10 News List

EU beer brewers refuse to swallow French beer tax
歐盟啤酒釀造業者拒法國啤酒稅

A person holds a glass of beer in Brussels, Belgium on Nov. 2.
一位人士十一月二日在比利時布魯塞爾手拿一杯啤酒。
Warning: Excessive consumption
of alcohol can damage your health.飲酒過量有害健康

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

France, the land of wine, is planning heavy taxes on beer, and that is not going down well with brewers — even in other nations.

President Francois Hollande is pushing through legislation to increase taxes on beer by 160 percent to help fund struggling social programs as France tries to contain a budget deficit hit hard by the economic crisis. The tax would affect local brews and the 30 percent of imported beer the French drink. The change means the price of a beer will increase by about 20 percent in bars and supermarkets, said Jacqueline Lariven, spokeswoman for the French brewer’s federation Brasseurs de France.

The Brewers of Europe trade group called the measure a “kick in the teeth,” especially since brewers have seen beer production plummet by six percent and consumption by eight percent in the EU since the region’s economic crisis began in 2008. Outside France, Belgium and Germany would be worst affected once the new legislation kicks in, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, head of the Brewers of Europe.

France, like most other European Union nations, is doing all it can to keep its budget on an even keel, and Hollande has been using taxation to raise income. His government said it hopes to raise some 480 million euros from the increase in beer taxation to boost social benefits such as medical insurance and elderly care.

(AP)

葡萄酒國度法國正打算對啤酒課徵重稅,釀酒業者對此表示無法接受,就連其他國家的釀酒業者也不例外。

受到經濟危機衝擊,法國政府正試圖控制預算赤字,總統歐蘭德打算推動立法把啤酒稅提高百分之一百六十,以資助搖搖欲墜的社福計畫。這項啤酒稅將影響法國本地啤酒及百分之三十的進口啤酒。法國啤酒釀造業聯盟發言人拉希凡說,這項改變表示酒吧和超市販售的啤酒價格將上漲約百分之二十。

歐洲釀酒聯盟則稱此政策為「落井下石」,尤其是當歐盟地區經濟危機自二○○八年開始以來,啤酒生產量已下滑百分之六,消費量也減少了百分之八。歐洲釀酒聯盟主席皮耶─歐利維爾‧貝哲宏說,當這項新法律生效後,比利時和德國將是法國以外地區受衝擊最嚴重的國家。

跟多數其他歐盟國家一樣,法國也正盡全力保持預算平衡,歐蘭德則打算利用課稅來增加國庫收入。歐蘭德政府表示希望能靠啤酒稅增加四億八千萬歐元的財源,以提供如醫療保險和老人照顧等社會福利計畫資金。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. a kick in the teeth n. phr.

落井下石;遭不公待遇 (luo4 jing3 xia4 shi2; zao1 bu4 gong1 dai4 yu4)

例: It was a real kick in the teeth for her after all the extra work she had done.

(她在付出了那麼多額外心血後,卻遭到不公待遇。)

2. kick in v. phr.

開始 (kai1 shi3)

例: Once the heat kicks in, it will be a lot more comfortable in here.

(等到暖氣夠暖以後,這裡就會舒服多了。)

3. keep on an even keel v. phr.

保持平衡;保持穩定 (bao3 chi2 ping2 heng2; bao3 chi2 wen3 ding4)

例: The manager cannot keep the firm on an even keel any longer.

(經理已經無力讓公司維持穩定運作了。)


(美聯社/翻譯:俞智敏)

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