Merkel and Sarkozy step up tempo on Robin Hood Tax
As part of their agreement yesterday – which in general still falls well short of a solution to the Eurozone’s problems, as the ETUC pointed out – French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel did at least agree that their Finance Ministers would come up with formal proposals for a European Financial Transactions Tax by the end of September to feed into the EU’s discussions. This isn’t a huge leap forward – they are both known to support a European Robin Hood Tax – but it now means that rather than individual support for the idea, their governments will now make one single, formal proposal. Details will still need to be worked out and then examined, and there will in particular be concerns that the money raised should be used for global public goods, ie tackling climate change and global poverty, and not just European deficits.
The announcement was welcomed by the ETUC as well as by the UK Robin Hood Tax campaign, whose spokesperson Max Lawson said:
“This is a major step forward which leaves the UK increasingly isolated in insisting that an FTT must be global to work. Rather than standing on the sidelines, David Cameron should join President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel to make banks pay their fair share.”