Vienna/Brussels, 21 May 2013 Press release

Lopatka: Austria and Luxembourg are in line in terms of tax matters

No to subsidies for nuclear energy

Vienna/Brussels, 21 May 2013 – State Secretary Dr. Reinhold Lopatka attended the meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels today where the next steps in the negotiation of the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020 with the European Parliament (EP) were discussed and tomorrow's European Council was prepared.

"Together with other colleagues, such as my counterparts from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, I have demanded that the European Parliament adopt a constructive approach in the negotiations of the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020. The Council has accommodated the EP with several important elements, such as the Amending Budget 2013 that the EP links to the MFF. An agreement before the summer break will be possible if the EP acts in the interest of the citizens of Europe. This means: establishing long term planning certainty for more than 70 programmes under the new financial framework", Lopatka said.

Two factors are of particular importance to Austria in the preparation of the European Council of 22 May: energy and taxes. The State Secretary: "As far as the planned extension of the savings tax directive is concerned, we share the position of Luxembourg. There is a logical and legitimate connection between negotiations with non-member states and the future internal regulation of the EU: Capital is mobile and therefore fair conditions are needed. It is also clear to us that the banking secrecy applicable to Austrian citizens will have to remain unaffected."

"In energy terms I focused on two things: When it comes to a new design of promotion guidelines, Austria strictly refuses any subsidies for nuclear energy which would make it equal to renewable energies. Subsidising nuclear power plants should not become possible!" The guidelines applicable so far provide for the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources but not for nuclear energy. The European Commission proposed to extend the new guidelines to all low-carbon energy carriers, including nuclear power. "Diversification of energy sources and energy routes, above all in the natural gas sector, is a priority concern of Austria to ensure the best possible and reliable security of supply. We therefore support the Nabucco pipeline project that will bring gas to the centre of the European market. With the Baumgarten gas hub, Austria is going to play a more important role in supplying Northern and Western Europe with gas", Lopatka concluded.

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