THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed that the Spanish government should be authorised to levy a special 25 per cent tax on imports of tobacco into the Canary Islands, to help protect its dwindling tobacco industry; a Brussels report claimed that between 1985 and 2000, the sector shed 67 per cent of its jobs. If EU ministers agree, Spain can levy this Arbitrio sobre las Importaciones y Entregas de Mercancias en las isles Canarias on imported tobacco until December 2011.

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