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French boss in hunger strike over taxes

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10:36 CEST+02:00
The owner of a security company has gone on hunger strike outside a French tax collectors office, in protest at taxes that he says threaten to sink his firm.

Aldo Toscano, owner of a security firm in the town of Mazamet, east of Toulouse, stopped eating food for four days. Instead he camped out in front of the tax collector’s office in one of his company cars, daily La Depeche reports.

Toscano, a former soldier, also launched a petition to save his company.

He insists the taxman’s decision to freeze all earnings on his accounts means he won’t be able to pay his 20 employees their July salaries. Toscano owes money to the state but is asking for a 6-month period of grace to pay off his debts.

This weekend, Toscano agreed to stop his hunger strike when tax officers agreed to unfreeze company accounts.

Toscano however says a long-term solution has yet to be found. "I want to save my company, maintain our skills. We manage our business rigorously, but pay too many taxes."

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