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EU launches action against Austria over child benefits move

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is taking action against Austria for indexing child benefits to the cost of living in the country where those children reside, saying it discriminates against other EU citizens working in Austria.

EU Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Austria's move is "deeply unfair" because it means many EU citizens paying social security and taxes in Austria "would receive fewer benefits only because their children are living in another member state."

She says Thursday that "such a mechanism is not allowed under EU law." Austria estimates the measure will affect 132,000 children in a number of countries. The Commission is giving Vienna two months to respond to its "letter of formal notice," a first step in possible legal action.

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