Eleven EU countries planning to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) won a resounding go-ahead from members of the European Parliament on December 12 2012. Together, they account for 90 per cent of euro zone GDP. MEPs have long advocated an FTT to make financial market players take more responsibility for resolving the crisis that they caused and to discourage excessive risk-taking in future, the European Parliament said in a statement.
“It is not a solution to spare the financial sector from a tax, the very same sector which is now even benefitting from the crisis. Delay in implementing this tax is costing money which is being footed by normal people” said rapporteur Anni Podimata (S&D, EL) in the debate on December 11. Her resolution was adopted by 533 votes to 91, with 32 abstentions.
The text emphasises that the ultimate goal should still be a worldwide FTT, and urges the EU to continue campaigning for it. To this end, the pioneer eleven should set an example of what a geographically wider tax could achieve, it adds
The 11 participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. They account for about 90 per cent of euro zone GDP.
Having obtained the European Parliament’s consent, the Council now needs to muster a qualified majority vote to allow the European Commission to initiate enhanced co-operation in order to turn the FTT plans into reality.
(Photo: Miroslav Sárička/sxc.hu)