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Merkel's tax-cut plans defended

Germany's new finance minister cautiously defended the tax cut plans of chancellor Angela Merkel’s incoming government yesterday, but said it was only a matter of time before steps were needed to rein in the deficit. Merkel sealed a coalition deal with the Free Democrats (FDP) on Saturday, vowing to cut income taxes by €24bn (£22bn) from 2011 and to reduce levies on companies to boost growth following Germany's worst postwar recession, winning praise from business leaders.