FRANCE: Winemakers threaten protests over tax plans
Nationwide protests against a government dubbed "hostile to wine" are set to be staged in France if solutions are not found to the issues of web publicity and a new wine tax.
The protest threat follows a government tax proposal, which producers argue would raise wine prices by 16%, and authorities' failure to legalise the web as a forum for alcoholic drinks publicity.
"We have asked to meet with the agriculture minister, or with the prime minister, and if there is no result from that we will organise a national protest," said Xavier de Volontat, president of the General Association of Wine Production (AGPV).
The group said that a hostile government was menacing the wine sector, and the difficult economic climate and low volume of the 2008 harvest was demoralising producers.
AGPV represents 250,000 wine businesses and 500,000 people. A preliminary protest date has been set for 30 October.
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