With the French presidential election just three months away, Nicolas Sarkozy took to the airwaves last night to tell voters about a tax hike. The president announced a sales tax rise from 19.6% to 21.2% and a new "Robin Hood" tax on financial transactions, the BBC reports. Sarkozy said he wants to "create a shockwave" with the 0.1% levy and he hopes other European countries will soon follow his lead.
Sarkozy—who lags behind the Socialist Party's Francois Hollande in the polls—said the new measures would help shift the cost of paying for social services from employers to consumers, giving the economy a boost. The president hasn't formally announced a re-election bid yet but he dropped a strong hint that he soon plans to. "I have a rendezvous with the French," he said. "I will not shy away from it." German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party says she will be joining him at campaign appearances. (Read more France stories.)