Germany'smedia funds in their present form will no longer be possible after the end of2005, according to election manifesto of the CDU/CSU opposition parties, widelytipped to form the next government.

Butmeasures have been promised "to improve the general parameters for theGerman film industry in order to secure its internationalcompetitiveness."

Inthe event of CDU/CSU election triumph this September, the manifesto declaredthat a new administration under Angela Merkel would "close tax loopholesand cut back the tax relief models. In particular, we will abolish the lucrativeloss allocation possibilities."

Accordingto the parties' financial experts, simplifying fiscal legislation would lead toadditional revenues of around $3.6bn (Euros 3bn) for the national government,the federal states and the communes in 2006.

"Wewill thus achieve more fairness", the manifesto argues. "We areensuring that the top tax rate is no longer only on paper, but is also actuallypaid by the top earners."

Whiletheir commitment to improving the general parameters for the German filmindustry was restricted to only one sentence in the manifesto, the CDU partyhad shown at events held before last weekend's German Film Awards that it isopen to the idea of introducing specific incentives to bolster the localproduction and make Germany attractive as a location for outside productions.

CDU'smedia policy spokesperson Bernd Neumann told assembled film producers at theparty's Film Reception on Friday that "the goal must be to have fiscalparameters which are comparable with elsewhere in Europe" to attractprivate capital into the German film industry. "It doesn't have to be thefunds in the form as they have existed until now, but something must come intheir place. Otherwise we won't have any chance at all of keeping the filmindustry competitive," he said.