European bankers support Socialist call for a Robin Hood Tax
That’s what you call man bites dog! But it’s not the unacceptable face of banking, the risky bankers who caused the financial crisis. No, it’s the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG), which represents banks that provide retail banking and take deposits from ordinary savers, small firms and public authorities. But it’s still a revelation, and perfectly timed to greet the launch of the Party of European Socialists’ (PES) Vandal Banker video which argues that banks must be made to pay for the crisis.
ESBR Communications Manager Dirk Smet told European online bulletin EurActiv that:
“ESBG understands the anger among the public caused by the behaviour of certain banks. The video posted on YouTube by the Party of European Socialists capitalises on this anger. As the European Association of Savings Banks, with members active in retail banking and savings banking – activities that are by definition close to the root public of our institutions (private customers, SMEs, local authorities), we would like to point out that the problems we face for the moment have been caused by certain financial institutions, and by the behaviour of some where risks got completely out of control or were totally neglected.”
The PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, writing on the TUC website, called on European Finance Ministers who are meeting in Spain this Friday to support the European Parliament’s call last month for a Financial Transactions Tax. How refreshingly different from the politicians in the UK who are competing this week to hedge their bets over the Robin Hood Tax, with each main party supporting something of the idea, but only Plaid Cymru and the Green Party likely to come out in full support (I’ll publish an analysis of the manifesto positions on this issue later in the week).