Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Court rules that Germany's nuclear tax is illegal

Germany's energy utilities look set to receive refunds of billions of euros after the government's tax on their use of nuclear fuel rods was declared illegal by the country's top court.

Between 2011 and 2016, nuclear power operators made payments of more than 6bn euros (£5.2bn) to the government.

The Constitutional Court has ruled the tax was "unconstitutional and void".

E.On, RWE and EnBW have been hit hard by Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022.

The policy was drawn up following the disaster at Fukushima in Japan in March 2011.
Germany's environment minister Barbara Hendricks said that the court ruling was a "colossal irritation".

Ms Hendricks is a member of the Social Democrats (SPD), who are the junior partner in Chancellor Merkel's governing coalition.

She said the 2009-2013 government, which was made up of Mrs Merkel's conservatives and the Free Democrats (FDP), had caused "chaos" in nuclear policy.

"The fact that this bodge [referring to the previous government's decision] means a payout to the nuclear power companies years later makes the Constitutional Court's ruling a colossal irritation," Ms Hendricks said.

The verdict overrules a decision by the European Court of Justice last year saying the tax did not breach European Union laws.

BBC     News.