Eleven EU countries planning to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) won a resounding go-ahead from MEPs on Wednesday. Together, they account for 90% of Eurozone GDP. MEPs have long advocated an FTT to make financial market players take more responsibility for resolving the crisis that they caused and to discourage excessive risk-taking in future.
"It is not a solution to spare the financial sector from a tax, the very same sector which is now even benefitting from the crisis. Delay in implementing this tax is costing money which is being footed by normal people" said rapporteur Anni Podimata (S&D, EL) in the debate on Tuesday. Her resolution was adopted by 533 votes to 91, with 32 abstentions.
The text stresses that the ultimate goal should still be a worldwide FTT, and urges the EU to continue campaigning for it. To this end, the pioneer eleven should set an example of what a geographically wider tax could achieve, it adds
The 11 participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. They account for about 90% of Eurozone GDP.
Having obtained Parliament's consent, the Council now needs to muster a qualified majority vote to allow the Commission to initiate enhanced cooperation in order to turn the FTT plans into reality.