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France looks at ways to curb 'fat cat' salaries across the EU - Europe, News - The Independent

Pressure is building in the European Union for common rules to discourage, or punish, excessive payments to top business executives.

France, which takes over the presidency of the EU on 1 July, will ask finance ministers to consider a European directive to curb disproportionate bonuses or golden handshakes to company bosses. The Dutch government has already introduced a draft national law to punish what it describes as "unjustifiable" payments to business leaders. The French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, said companies must put their own house in order or face a rash of national, or EU, legislation to clamp down on "excesses".

French officials said Paris felt that, without such an EU-wide curb, large companies or highly paid executives would evade national curbs by exercising their right to move from one EU country to another.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, and president of the "Eurogroup" - the countries using the Euro - recently described steep increases in executive pay as a "social scourge". He said EU governments should consider ways of punishing disproportionate bonuses and high severance payments with windfall taxes.

by Fran on Sat May 31st, 2008 at 05:14:17 AM EST
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