Raise fuel prices to pay for refugee crisis?

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EU Commission, has endorsed the proposal put forward by the German Finance Minister Schäuble to finance the reception and integration of refugees with a Europe-wide fuel tax. The Latvian press thinks little of its countryman's behaviour.

Open/close all quotes
Dienas Bizness (LV) /

Dombrovskis focused on tax hike

Once again the people will have to foot the bill, the business daily Dienas bizness rails:

“Now even the Latvian EU Commissioner Dombrovskis has described an additional tax on petrol as an innovative solution, and backed up his claim with the argument that in any event the oil price is at an all-time low. The people of Latvia have already felt the effects of Dombrovskis' reasoning first-hand: economic crisis, consolidation, the post-crisis era. We've never had to cinch our belts this tight - which has prompted a considerable number of Latvians to buy one-way tickets to Europe. Now our Mr Euro is trying to pursue this tactic on a European level.”

Diena (LV) /

German economy would benefit most from tax

If EU consumers are made to pay higher fuel taxes to finance the flood of refugees it will mainly help the German economy, the liberal daily Diena writes:

“For the moment the German job market needs labourers who won't raise production costs. All the more so given that the Chinese economy is collapsing and the trend in the global economy points towards deflation. ... If the refugees are willing to join the European labour market Latvians who pay the petrol tax will above all be helping the German and Swedish economies, because the wage levels are higher there. Latvia will most likely attract the least active asylum seekers.”