Published: 28 Sep 2012 15:33 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 28 Sep 2012 15:33 GMT+02:00
France and Germany want to revive a controversial financial transactions tax (FTT), seeking support from the European Commission and enough EU partners to get a limited deal through.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and French counterpart Pierre Moscovici wrote to European Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta and their 25 EU colleagues seeking permission for an "enhanced cooperation" accord which could be implemented if one third of all EU states back it.
The two ministers say in their letters, undated according to copies seen by AFP on Friday, that their governments "request" that the Commission formally ask the 27 EU member states for "a decision authorising enhanced cooperation with regard to the creation of a common system of financial transaction tax."
A bid to introduce the tax -- aimed at curbing the market excesses that led to the 2008 global financial crisis -- in all 27 EU states failed in June, in part due to British concerns over the City of London's future.
Under its provisions, the Commission would have levied a 0.1% tax on share and bond trades, and 0.01% on other transactions, generating billions of euros in revenue.
France and Germany hope the FTT can be operational by the end of this year based on the support of nine states but they will need at least tacit permission from London and other opponents who would not be joining in.
If they don't get it through before the end of June next year, they will need to find a 10th state to back them, because Croatia will become the EU's 28th member on July 1st.
The European Parliament, an easier prospect, will also have to give its
seal of approval.The European Commission said it welcomed the French and German initiative "as a means of keeping up the momentum behind an EU FTT.
"We believe that that the FTT has huge benefits to offer, even if applied by a limited group of member states," said Emer Traynor, spokeswoman for Semeta.
"We therefore urge the other interested ... states to send their letters of request to reach this quota. Citizens are waiting for this tax, so the sooner it can progress, the better," Traynor added.
When it comes to fighting off the invasion of English words the French Resistance has had mixed fortunes over the years. Nevertheless the fight goes on. With the help of the Ministry of Culture here's a list of the latest English terms that French authorities want deported. READ () »
The streets of Paris are getting a reputation for being unsafe for tourists and this is a threat to business for the great brand names of French fashion, a top body representing the luxury industry warned on Friday. READ () »
Rights watchdog Amnesty International has filed its end of year report on French President François Hollande's record on tackling human rights issues. Its conclusion was: Could do better. READ () »
The dangerous craze of ‘train surfing', which has long been popular in Russia, came to France this week and ended in tragic circumstances. A young man who was reportedly riding the roof of a Paris Metro was killed when the train entered a tunnel. READ () »
The purchase of the famous upmarket French department store Printemps by investors from Qatar needs to be investigated by authorities for possible corruption, money laundering and tax fraud, unions demanded this week. READ () »
The proposal was labelled by critics as another example of France's Socialist government attacking the richest. But after a u-turn announced on Friday the plan to limit executive pay in the private sector will not now see the light of day. READ () »
It could easily be the script of a grisly horror movie. Police arrested a man in Nice this week, suspected of chopping up his 95-year-old grandmother. According to sources the suspect admitted to having eaten part of the body. READ () »
IMF chief Christine Lagarde is spending a second day being questioned by French prosecutors on Friday as part of a probe into a €400 million state payout to disgrace businessman Bernard Tapie. If Lagarde is charged she could be forced to quit the IMF. READ () »
At least 20 people were killed and several trainee officers taken hostage when Islamist militants carried out twin bombings on a French-run nuclear plant in Niger. The attack was claimed by the group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). READ () »
Not everyone gets the chance to party with the stars at the Cannes festival for two days, unless that is, you are the French double of 'Gangnam style' entertainer Psy and you have the nerves of steel to pretend to be him. Meet Denis Carre our undisputed French Face of the Week. READ () »