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WireTap 1400 28/02/12

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news that European economic confidence is improving more than had been expected.

European economic confidence beats estimates

Economic confidence in the euro area improved more than forecast in February, adding to signs the economy is stabilizing after a fourth-quarter contraction.

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Hollande proposes 75% top tax rate

François Hollande, the Socialist challenger for the French presidency, has proposed imposing a tax rate of 75 per cent on incomes above €1 million a year.

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Barclays defends tax schemes

Barclays has become embroiled in a tax dispute with the U.K. government, threatening to undercut efforts to improve its reputation.

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Focus turns now to Greek CDS payouts

A committee of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association has been asked to rule on whether the passage of legislation approving collective-action clauses for Greek debt should trigger payouts on credit-default swaps tied to Greek sovereign bonds.

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German court raises hurdle to euro zone bailouts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's room for manoeuvre on future euro zone bailouts is being restricted as Germany's top court raised a hurdle to swift action in financial rescues.

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