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Eurozone-only transaction tax possible: Germany

17 September 2011, 22:43 CET
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(BERLIN) - A proposed tax on financial transactions could be introduced in the eurozone alone, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview to be published Sunday.

"The ban on 'naked' short selling was only the beginning of the measures we are taking," Schaeuble told Bild am Sonntag.

"Before the end of the autumn we are going to create a tax on financial transactions. If necessary, I'm sure, just in the eurozone," he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signalled their support for the measure during a summit last month to discuss the euro debt crisis.

According to the proposals submitted to the European Commission, the two leaders want at least a Europe-wide tax, but Britain and Sweden -- EU members but not part of the eurozone -- have made their opposition known.

The United States dismissed "emphatically" any prospect of backing at a global level, according to the Austrian finance minister who quoted US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during a finance ministers' meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, on Friday.

Schaeuble said that it would be necessary to try to introduce the tax across the EU however.

"If I say now that there's no sense in this, and that it's being done straight away in the eurozone, then I have no chance," he said.


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