Ignoring strong and widespread criticism from the air transport industry, the German government imposed what it is calling an "ecological air travel levy" that took effect Sept. 1 for travel beginning Jan. 1, 2011. The tax was included in a package of government spending cuts introduced earlier this year by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has maintained that Berlin needs to slash spending by €80 billion ($101.5 billion) by 2014 to alleviate the nation's shaky fiscal ...

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