Monday, June 04, 2007

Strictly from hunger

Afghanistan's tax laws are, says a Frenchman, and he's going to prove it:

The French owner of one the most popular restaurants in Kabul went on hunger strike Monday to protest a tax bill of half a million dollars that he linked to xenophobia in the Afghan government.

Marc Victor, who opened L'Atmosphere four years ago, said he would refuse food until the government allowed his restaurant to reopen and cancelled all action against him.

This included scrapping demands for the 500,000 dollars, which he said was equivalent to more than a year's turnover and based on an overstated assessment of the size of his business.

Victor, who says he has paid tax every year amounting to 120,000 dollars since opening the restaurant, has also written to the finance minister to protest.

In a statement announcing his hunger strike, the 46-year-old asked how the government could reconcile "the urgent need" for foreign investment with the "quick-growing of xenophobia in this country," including among civil servants.

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