France wriggles free from Brussels bureaucracy…

Who said the Europeans don’t believe in fiscal stimulus?:

The cost of a long lunch in a French bistro should become significantly cheaper after Paris won a seven-year battle with the European Union to allow it to slash the value-added tax on meals.

But how to pay the unpalatable €3.25bn ($4.2bn) bill taxpayers are being stuck with is prompting a debate over just what price to extract from the French restaurant industry.

France savoured victory last week when it finally won German approval for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to cut VAT on restaurant meals from 19.6 per cent to the EU minimum of 5.5 per cent.

The article is interesting throughout. Here are previous installments in the series.

[From The culture that is French, a continuing series]