Friday

21st Jul 2017

France to push for financial tax at Berlin meeting

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday (9 January) to seek support for a financial transactions tax that risks aggravating EU division on how to handle the financial crisis.

"We won't wait for others to agree to put it in place, we'll do it because we believe in it," he said on Friday after talks in Paris with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in reference to Britain's opposition to the new tax.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Amid ever-widening disagreement in the Union on how to react to the crisis, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday he would block any attempt to introduce an EU-wide toll, but added that if France wants to go it alone it is "free to do so."

"The idea of a transactions tax put in place only in Europe that doesn't include other jurisdictions, what that would do is it would cost jobs, it would cost us tax revenue, it would be bad for the whole of Europe," he told the BBC.

Britain fears that the so called 'Tobin tax' - named after Nobel prize-winning economist James Tobin - would see financial institutions leave London for softer tax regimes such as Switzerland or China.

Protecting the interests of the City of London was one main reason why Cameron in December vetoed an EU treaty change. The British leader demanded "safeguards" that no further legislation will be passed to curb the freedom of financial markets. The veto isolated Britain as the 26 other EU countries went with a new inter-governmental treaty on financial discipline without it.

Other EU leaders including Angela Merkel and Mario Monti still back the idea of an EU-wide Tobin tax.

"It is necessary that the different countries do not go it alone in the application of this tax. I believe in a European perspective," Monti said on Friday. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German government is pushing for an EU tax even though there is no global agreement on the subject at the level of the G20 countries.

For his part, French state secretary Benoist Apparu said on Sunday that a first draft of legal proposals for an EU tax will be discussed by finance ministers "probably in February." He added that Paris will "lead by example" and vote on a France-only tax "ahead of the presidential elections" in April.

French finance groups have warned against any attempt to play politics with th sector.

Association Paris Europlace - representing key players in the French financial sphere - said the tax would hurt the country's economy unless it was implemented across the Union.

"If this tax was applied only in France, it would inevitably lead to an exodus of banks, insurance companies and management, and would reduce the role of Paris in the European and global economy," it said.

Audit firm Ernst & Young estimates that even an EU-wide tax would have a negative impact on revenues.

Last September, the European Commission published an impact study of the tax suggesting it could raise annual revenue of around €37 billion.

Ernst & Young said in its report the commission made a "number of optimistic assumptions about the likely decline in trading activity that would result" and instead predicted that it would create a €116 billion hole in EU countries' public finances.

Greece to get €7.7bn loan next week

The ESM, the eurozone emergency fund, agreed on Friday to unblock a new tranche of aid as part of the bailout programme agreed upon in 2015.

Opinion

Greece needs a new plan

Two years into its third bailout, Greece needs to combine the necessary fiscal targets with a new vision. This can be done in the context of the ongoing industrial revolution.

Opinion

Ceta and pesticides: A citizens' rights issue

The trade agreement with Canada will begin to apply on 21 September. But there is still a potential conflict on the right to data protection vs. the right to access information.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary