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Brussels, 12 th December 2006

Airport tax: European Commission delivers a reasoned opinion to Malta

The European Commission sent today a reasoned opinion – the last step before a formal complaint to the Court of Justice is lodged – to Malta for the airport tax levied at Malta International Airport. The airport tax differentiates between passengers in a discriminatory way.

The current airport tax in Malta is discriminatory as it is only levied on an air passenger beginning an international journey from Malta airport, but not levied if the passenger had started the journey outside Malta. The tax therefore puts an unfair burden on residents in Malta, and makes it more difficult for them to receive and provide services in other Member States .

Furthermore, domestic destinations are exempted from the airport tax. According to the Commission, the airport tax should not differentiate between domestic and other intra-Community flights.

Malta has two months to respond to the reasoned opinion which constitutes the second step in the infringement procedure after a letter of formal notice had been sent to Malta on 4 July 2006.

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