Tue, Dec 11, 2012 - Page 10 News List

EU beer brewers refuse to swallow French beer tax

A person holds a glass of beer in Brussels, Belgium on Nov. 2.
Warning: Excessive consumption
of alcohol can damage your health.飲酒過量有害健康

Photo: Reuters

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.







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.


2. kick in v. phr.

開始 (kai1 shi3)

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


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.



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