From the TUC

Greek Prime Minister backs Robin Hood Tax

22 Jun 2010, by in International

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou spoke to the World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) this afternoon. Although he is presiding over huge, unpopular cuts in the Greek welfare state, it was the Greek trade union movement that asked for him to speak, because in ITUC President Sharan Burrows’ words, “he above all knows what it is like to run a government in the eye of the storm.”

He called explicitly for the 0.05% financial transactions tax proposed by trade unions and NGOs, which he claimed could raise €240bn across the EU.

“We could make poverty history, tackle climate change and make a new world”, he said, “So what is stopping us?” He denied the claim that Greece’s problems were caused by a lavish welfare state, but by economic mismanagement by the previous conservative government. “I am neither for or against markets, or for or against government but for regulated markets and openness in government,” he said. Markets should serve the people, not the other way round.

He also condemned those governments whose economies are “competitive in the short-term but unsustainable long-term” because of environmental degradation and low wages.

5 Responses to Greek Prime Minister backs Robin Hood Tax

  1. Tweets that mention Greek Prime Minister backs Robin Hood Tax | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Jun 22nd 2010, 6:19 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by gemma tumelty and ToUChstone blog, TUCGlobal. TUCGlobal said: RT @touchstoneblog: Greek Prime Minister backs Robin Hood Tax http://bit.ly/dCIGUJ […]

  2. Tim Worstall
    Jun 22nd 2010, 8:35 am

    ““We could make poverty history, tackle climate change and make a new world”, he said, “So what is stopping us?””

    The law perhaps? As the EU has pointed out, an FTT on currency transactions would breach the Treaty of Rome.

  3. Owen Tudor

    Owen Tudor
    Jun 22nd 2010, 2:29 pm

    As I’ve pointed out before, Tim, the EU has said no such thing. A Commission official suggested it might be contrary to the Treaty of Lisbon (that’s the one actually in force right now), but that was just an opinion, and one not apparently shared by people like … ooh…. Chancellor Merkel of Germany, among others.

  4. Tim Worstall
    Jun 22nd 2010, 2:34 pm

    “the Treaty of Lisbon (that’s the one actually in force right now)”

    Err, no. The Treaty of Lisbon was a series of amendments to the Treaty of Rome. Now that it’s all been passed and brought into force we only have the Treaty of Rome, as amended by Lisbon, Amsterdam, Maastricht and all the rest.

    And you would prefer to take the word of a politician on the make than a bureaucrat explaining the law would you?

  5. The Sherwood Echo: Friday 2nd July | The Robin Hood Tax
    Jul 2nd 2010, 2:50 pm

    […] reached by the EU Council and European Parliament over capping bonuses for bankers. In Europe, Greece has recently joined France, Germany, Austria and Belgium and come out in support of a Financial […]