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French Constitutional Council approves income tax on wealthy

The French Constitutional Council [official website] on Sunday approved a controversial tax of up to 75 percent [press release, in French] on companies paying salaries over 1 million euros ($1.375 million USD). The super tax had been a campaign promise of French President Francois Hollande [official website, in French], and this decision of the council is supported by the left. Hollande sited the need for the wealthy to contribute to the economy, and help close the budget gap, but many fear [Euronews] that the tax will spur talent to leave the country. The tax is expected to raise 210 million euros [NYTimes report], and impact 470 businesses and a dozen football clubs, many of which have expressed outrage and threatened to strike.

This year, the French Constitutional Council rejected a "conscience clause" [JURIST report] for same-sex marriage, which would have allowed mayors to refuse to perform same-sex marriages on the basis of their personal moral or religious beliefs. President Hollande gave final approval [JURIST report] in May to the legislation legalizing same-sex marriage and establishing the right of same-sex couples to adopt. Although France's Union for a Popular Movement party challenged the law, the French Constitutional Court rejected the challenge [JURIST report] in May. In October, the council upheld a ban [JURIST report] on hydraulic fracturing, finding that banning the controversial natural gas extraction process is a valid means of protecting the environment.

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