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On December 17, the European Commission announced, the launch of an investigation into German tax exemptions for Green energy, which have been of benefit to hundreds of companies. Brussels is demanding that the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) be changed, reports Die Welt.

The daily explains that approximately 2,300 companies in high-energy consumption sectors, such as chemicals and metalworking, currently benefit from some €23bn of exemptions from the tax paid by private individuals and other economic sectors in what the Commission insists is a breach of European competition law.

However, the daily notes —

… this view is not shared by the [new] German government, which has thus entered into its first major conflict with Brussels. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag: ‘given that other European countries continue to benefit from cheaper energy costs than those charged to German industry, I cannot see why we are being criticised for contributing to a distortion of competition’.