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Germany, France launch new finance tax drive

October 1, 2012 Deutsche Welle
Germany and France have made a fresh appeal to the European Union executive to pave the ground for a tax on financial transactions. They hope it can be introduced in at least nine of the bloc's countries.

Berlin and Paris appealed to the European Commission to get serious about the introduction of a tax on financial transactions in a limited number of nations, the German Finance Ministry reported on Friday.

A broader proposal to rally the majority of the 27 EU member countries behind such a tax had failed not least because of strong opposition from Sweden and Britain, which has the continent's biggest financial industry.

Germany and France were now hoping to introduce a transaction tax via the legal detour of so-called enhanced cooperation which would allow a group of at least nine nations to go ahead with it independently from the rest of the bloc.

Volunteers wanted

EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said he was confident a sufficient number of supporters could be found for the project.

"Citizens across the EU are waiting for such a tax," Semeta said in a statement. "The sooner it comes, the better."

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and his French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, have written letters to their European partners encouraging them to join their bilateral appeal to the Commission.

France already introduced a unilateral finance tax in August. The German government, for its part said it hoped a multilateral agreement would be in the bag by the end of this year.