EU says financial transaction tax now has support of 11 members

City A.M. Reporter
THE EUROPEAN Union has gained support from enough member states to get a proposed tax on financial transactions off the ground, it said yesterday.

Eleven EU countries endorse the introduction of a so called Tobin Tax according to tax commissioner Algirdas Semeta, clearing the nine votes required to legally launch the initiative.

“We see that four additional member states intend to join enhanced cooperation, so it means that we arrive to 11 member states,” Semeta told a gathering of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg.

Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Estonia are the new countries to support the scheme.

And she called for supportive governments to official back the proposal. “I would like to remind those that stated it orally that they formally, in writing, present their request for enhanced cooperation. Only when we will receive nine or more formal letters, only then the process will start.”

The initiative is strongly backed by Germany and France, although there are differences of opinion over how much revenue the tax will generate and what the income should be used for.

Yet several EU members remain opposed to the introduction of a Tobin Tax, including the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Dutch minister Jan Kees de Jager confirmed his stance yesterday. “The Netherlands is not in favour of a financial transactions tax.,” he said. “We are even reluctant about introduction in other countries.”