Eurozone's big four agree on financial transactions tax
(ROME) - Germany, France, Italy and Spain are in favour of a common financial transactions tax even though it may not be possible across all the European Union, their leaders said Friday at talks in Rome.
"I am pleased that all four here have committed to a financial transactions tax," Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Merkel said the tax would be welcomed because "the people in our countries have the impression that the crisis started in the financial markets and that they have not contributed enough to the solution."
French President Francois Hollande said the leaders would be doing their utmost to get a green light for the tax, even though the proposal has not won support from all 27 countries in the European Union.
"It can only come about through enhanced cooperation, and I, along with my partners, will make it so that the European council authorises us to enact that... as quickly as possible," he said.
The "enhanced cooperation" procedure allows at least nine governments to harmonise laws.
Just hours earlier EU finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg effectively buried a bid for an EU-wide financial transactions tax, which one EU diplomatic source said had "received a thousand cuts" and is "bleeding heavily."
But while Danish Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager, who chaired the talks, said the bid did not receive unanimous support, she said a significant number of countries had voiced interest in enhanced cooperation.
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