French official threatens ‘windfall profit’ tax

09/19/2005
French Finance and Economy Minister Thierry Breton has threatened to initiate a windfall profits tax against oil majors Total SA, Esso, BP PLC, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC-all of which operate refineries in France-if they do not develop “concrete and tangible proposals” to “return to consumers a part of the exceptional profits corresponding to an exceptional situation amassed since the beginning of the year.”Chief among the minister’s suggestions was a drop in the price of motor fuels sold at service stations, the development of a hybrid automobile engine, investments in renewables, more biofuels incorporation in motor fuels, and refinery improvements.The compa...
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