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Austria: Parliament Enacts Tax Reform

(Aug. 20, 2015) On July 23, 2015, Austria’s Parliament enacted a major reform of the country’s tax system that expands the progressive income tax scale for individuals to six brackets, ranging from an initial 25% rate to a ceiling rate of 55%. Other aspects of the reform include, inter alia, doubling the tax-exempt allowance for […]

Germany: States Implement Federal Rent Control Act

(Aug. 3, 2015) On June 1, 2015, a new federal act on rent control entered into force in Germany. The Tenancy Law Amendment Act authorizes the individual German states to enact regulations to designate “tight housing markets” in which a rent cap will apply. Twelve of the 16 German states (Länder) have implemented the Act […]

Germany: Federal Constitutional Court Declares Child Care Allowance Act Unconstitutional

(July 27, 2015) On July 21, 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament) lacked the legislative power to enact provisions on the care allowance (Betreuungsgeld), which provides money to stay-at-home parents. (BVerfG, 1 BvF 2/13, July 21, 2015 (in German).) The provisions of the Federal Act on […]

Germany: New Anti-Terrorism Legislation Entered Into Force

(July 10, 2015) On June 20 and on June 30, 2015, new anti-terrorism legislation entered into force in Germany. The new law makes it a crime to travel outside the country with the intent to receive terrorist training, adds a new section on terrorism financing to the Criminal Code, and creates national identity card and […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Data Retention Act

(June 18, 2015) On June 12, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated in a first reading a draft Data Retention Act. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Einführung einer Speicherpflicht und einer Höchstspeicherfrist für Verkehrsdaten [Draft Act on Introducing a Requirement to Store Traffic Data and a Maximum Retention Period], DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT-Drs.] 18/5088 […]

Germany: Court Dismisses Lawsuit Concerning U.S. Drone Attacks in Yemen

(June 17, 2015) On May 27, 2015, the Administrative Trial Court of Cologne (Verwaltungsgericht Köln, VG Köln) dismissed a lawsuit by three Yemeni citizens who alleged that the German government violated their right to life, as established by the German Basic Law, by allowing the U.S. government to use the air base Ramstein, located in […]

Germany: New Law Mandates Precedence of Majority Union’s Collective Agreement over Competing Collective Agreements

(June 2, 2015) On May 22, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) passed a draft law on collective bargaining agreement unity. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Tarifeinheit (Tarifeinheitsgesetz) [Draft Act on Collective Bargaining Agreement Unity (Collective Agreement Unity Act)], DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT] 18/4062 (Feb. 20, 2015).) The controversial legislation passed with a vote of […]