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Fischer seeks fast tax reform decision

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Fischer seeks fast tax reform decision
Photo: APA/HERBERT PFARRHOFER
09:56 CEST+02:00
President Heinz Fischer wants the government to achieve a fast agreement on when a tax reform should take place.

Both parties in the coalition government would have to concentrate on issues that they have in common and work "objectively, vigorously and be goal-oriented", he told the APA press agency in an interview.

He would not commit himself to a desired date, but urged the government to find a fast solution.

There were some benchmarks, he said - the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and People's Party (ÖVP) both wanted a tax reform and both agreed on "reducing the initial tax rate noticeably".

Furthermore they had stated during the coalition negotiations that a tax reform should take place until 2016.

However, it would be necessary to take the economic situation as well as budget targets for 2015 into account, Fischer said.

Asked about his opinion of the current power structure between the federal and regional authorities he said that constitutional issues were always power issues.

He added that unfortunately there was a standstill on that question, and it would be very difficult to change the distribution of tasks, money, and power.

Moreover he said that there was no reason for a ban on burqa veils as the right-wing Freedom Party had wanted.

And he argued in favour of introducing the Turkish language as a subject at secondary school and for the Matura (high school diploma).

As supreme commander of the armed forces he admitted that there were concerns in the army about being not able to fullfil all obligations due to austerity measures. However, generals had told him that it would be wrong that the army was not fully operational, there were problems, though.

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