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French Parliament to Vote on Financial-Transaction Tax, VAT

France’s lower chamber of Parliament will probably today pass President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bills to create a tax on financial transactions and to increase the country’s main value-added tax to 21.2 percent.

The parliament in Paris will debate the two bills, which are part of a revised 2012 budget law, later today. The Senate is scheduled vote tomorrow. The increase in VAT, a sales tax, from 19.6 percent will be enacted in October.

Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse said at the National Assembly today the VAT increase would compensate for cuts in labor charges that could create as many as 120,000 jobs. Sarkozy hushed the Parliament to vote on the new levy as he seeks to make France the first country to implement a European-Union wide financial-transaction tax. He said he plans to impose the levy in August. The tax will apply to share purchases, including high-frequency trading and credit default swap transactions.

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