Chairman doesn't want surtax
Dieter Hartig, president of the Bund Deutscher Philatelisten, is displeased. He hasn't got much against the occasion - the fact that it is now 50 years ago since a revolution was beaten down in the DDR - but against the decision to raise a surcharge on the stamp (for 'victims of Stalinism').
'In Germany, we are already forerunners in the field of excess postage stamps', he writes in the April edition of Philately. 'Almost one-third of the German issue program consists of it. That's more than enough. In addition, it is a fact that a major part of those stamps (and, as a consequence, the surcharges as well) is paid for by philatelists'. Hartig finds that this is a way of disproportionally charging collectors. He also points at the risk that, when too much excess postage stamps are issued, the incentive to buy them will diminish, which, according to Hartig, wouldn't be a good either.