PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP): French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told the French parliament Wednesday that "the (French) government wants to get an overall agreement on reduced rates of VAT (sales tax)" in the European Union.
EU finance ministers, meeting in Brussels Tuesday, had failed to agree on a list of services to benefit from an exceptionally low sales tax.
France is seeking to reduce sales tax on hotels and restaurants to 5.5 per cent from the current 19.6 per cent.
Referring to promises made to reduce the tax burden on restaurants and hotels, Villepin told the French National Assembly (parliament): "A commitment was taken by the president of the Republic by my predecessor (Jean-Pierre Raffarin) and I will fight to ensure it is honoured."
He added: "The (French) government wants to get an overall agreement on reduced rates of VAT because it is for us about creating jobs and defending the purchasing power of French people."
The issue of VAT tax harmonisation is to be discussed by European heads of state during a summit on December 15-16.