EU ministers to move forward on transaction tax

EUROPEAN MINISTERS will stage the first serious talks on plans to levy a cross-border tax on banks and other finance houses on Tuesday in the face of resistance from Britain, which is home to 80% of Europe’s finance industry. Finance ministers will listen to updated proposals brought by France and eight other governments.

The Paris-inspired financial transactions tax (FTT) is aimed at making financial institutions pay their way in future after banks benefited heavily from taxpayer bailouts when the sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the United States triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, the Telegraph reported.

France’s eight backer countries are Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The nine said in a letter demanding the EU examine their plans that the tax is necessary “to ensure a fair contribution from the financial sector to the costs of the financial crisis, but also to improve the regulation of markets.”

Nine countries signing on paves the way for a special provision of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty that allows at least one third of the EU’s member states to trailblaze new laws by themselves.


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