Europe ramps up the pressure for a Robin Hood Tax
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Luxemburg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker have ramped up the pressure over the weekend for a Robin Hood Tax. This follows the decision of Eurozone Heads of Government the week before to back a Eurozone Financial Transactions Tax (FTT).
On Friday, the Guardian carried an interview with Schauble which concentrated on his distasteful views on Turkish so-called “guest workers”. But the last third of the article was all about his concern to ensure that the financial sector met the costs of the crisis, and his support for an FTT. He wants the UK to back an FTT, but he won’t let them block it:
“I would prefer a European solution but if this doesn’t happen right away, I would be willing to go ahead with the eurozone. But we would work to convince the UK to join. It’s in the real interest of the UK to be in the game rather than out.”
Meanwhile on Monday, the Financial Times German edition (but not the UK edition, which has for some reason been avoiding coverage of the Robin Hood Tax campaign over the past year) reported that:
A unilateral financial transactions tax by the eurozone is becoming increasingly likely, according to Financial Times Deutschland, after Jean-Claude Juncker, who had previous been sceptical, is now fully in favour. Under discussion is a transactions tax of 0.1% to 0.5% of turnover. The pressure on this issue comes from the European Council. The European Commission has been sceptical, and pressure is now growing on Algirdas Semeta, the tax commission to develop a proposal. Juncker said he had preferred to levy such a tax at G20 level, but since this is not possible, the eurozone, should press ahead.