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Financial Transaction Tax plan a timid first step


23 May 2012


Euro & Finance

"This proposal for a financial transaction tax (FTT) is the first sign that speculation won't go unpunished" Portuguese GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias told the European Parliament in this morning's debate on Common system for taxing financial transactions.

"It's just a beginning but it is an important beginning" she said. "For decades financial markets built and operated within a world economy in which they face no obstacles. The speculation they engaged in lies at the heart of most problems facing us today and still speculative traders continue to take money out of people's pockets. Governments must take back responsibility and re-establish the trust of the people."

German MEP Jürgen Klute said this FTT plan picks up on a number of elements of the Tobin tax which has been under discussion for many years now. "It's an important signal to send to citizens, markets and banks following a series of campaigns and petitions aimed at introducing an FTT at EU level. Obviously it could have gone further, it's not sufficient to stabilise financial markets and more needs to be done, but I urge Council to follow the citizens and do all possible to prevent this proposal being blocked by member states".

"We finally have a proposal for an FTT after so much wasted time and money" Younous Omarjee (France) added. "We've had to wait until such an unstable situation has arisen so that these predators can be tackled. It’s a timid scheme and the introduction of exemptions prevents sufficient flesh being placed on the bones of this proposal".

The vote on the FTT (Podimata report) will take place this afternoon in Strasbourg. In an effort to improve the text of the report, GUE/NGL MEPs have proposed several amendments.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Sonja Giese (DE) +32 486 94 50 21  

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group



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