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Objections to EU tax

Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová wants people to keep smoking cigarettes at low prices and is ready to ask the EU to extend a transition period on tobacco tax. "There is still time Slovakia can use for negotiations," the minister said in Brussels December 4. The EU is demanding candidate states introduce a 57% tax on cigarettes but some countries have managed to negotiate transition periods. The Czech Republic has already agreed to a three-year period.

But some ministers have suggested slapping the new tax on cigarettes too quickly will lead to huge price rises and a growth in tobacco smuggling through the country, mainly from the Ukraine.

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