France's Constitutional Council says the country's proposed carbon tax is illegal. This is being seen as a severe blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to fight climate change.
The council said the tax had too many exemptions
France's Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was meant to take effect on January 1. The council, which is charged with ensuring the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.
It was estimated that 93 percent of industrial emissions, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France's top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, which would have charged 17 euros per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has argued the tax is necessary to combat climate change and reduce the country's dependence on oil.
Observers say the council's ruling is a severe blow to both Sarkozy's environmental plan and as France's budget for 2010. The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected to be generated the tax.
Editor: Chuck Penfold
Germany is a 16-state affair. But when it comes to working out finances, they quickly devolve into a family of squabblers. Reforming the system to reduce the number of states is long overdue, says DW's Volker Wagener.
Ukrainians are preparing to go to the polls in snap elections that are expected to dramatically change the make-up of the country's parliament. Polls put incumbent President Petro Poroshenko's bloc in the lead.
The German author and poet Jürgen Becker has been presented with the Georg Büchner Prize, one of the most important literary awards for the German language. Becker received the prize for his lifetime achievement.
The Picasso museum in Paris has reopened following a renovation which took more than twice as long as scheduled. The official ceremony took place on what would have been the famed artist's 133rd birthday.