Plans for an EU financial transaction tax (FTT) could be published by Christmas after politicians in 10 Eurozone countries agreed to push ahead with plans.
After a meeting in Luxembourg late last night, officials declared this morning they would start drafting the legislation which will allow them to place a levy on the trading of financial products – dubbed a Robin Hood Tax by its advocates – in their own countries.
Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner for economic and financial affairs said "very important progress has been made on the FTT".
He added: "We are designing something which is ambitious and realistic. Hopefully in the weeks to come we will be capable of submitting drafts … and adopt what could be the first European FTT."
Both France and Germany also hailed last night's progress. French finance minister Michel Sapin said today: "It is the first time we really have a clear agreement from all the countries," while his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble added: "I hope we will be able to meet the finish line later this year."
Original plans for an EU-wide FTT, first proposed in 2011, were dropped after significant resistance from the UK and other non-Eurozone countries including Sweden and the Czech Republic. However, 10 of the countries decided to push ahead with their own plans for the levy, although these have been blighted by multiple delays, with the original scheme hoping to be live by 2014.
The four largest Eurozone members – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – are all taking part. Explaining the reasoning for pushing ahead with the tax, Moscovici said: "This is something that is expected by a lot of people who would like to see the financial sector contribute."