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Growing European citizens support for tax on speculation ‘unstoppable'

Date

01 Jul 2011

Sections

Euro & Finance

Europeans citizens have once again expressed their support for a tax on speculation. A poll, published by EU service Eurobarometer, put the support at 61%. As the Europeans for Financial Reform (EFFR) petition that mobilised hundreds of thousands of citizens had already shown, the Eurobarometer survey “Europeans and the crisis” confirmed that citizens are in favour of such a tax.

The EU tax on speculation has been endorsed by socialist and social democratic Members of national Parliaments, as the 1000 signatures recently collected by the Party of European Socialists (PES) demonstrated.

The European Commission has bowed to the pressure and conceded that a financial tax would be introduced. During a press conference on 29 June on proposals for the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, President Barroso recognised the need of raising new revenues and the strong efficacy of such a tax. However the Institution is still prevaricating on the specific nature on the tax. The Commission President has spent the weeks leading up to last night’s announcement sending ambiguous statements about a financial ‘activities’ tax. A Commission impact assessment on tax of the financial sector is being drafted and is set to be published in the coming weeks.

Despite reports in the Press that the Commission announcement was a commitment to a tax on speculation, there is a clear pattern of the Barroso Commission reneging on previously stated commitments, such as Barroso’s 2010 ‘state of the Union address before the European Parliament, where he called for a ‘financial transaction tax only to backtrack weeks later and recommend an ‘FAT’ or Financial Activities Tax’.

PES Secretary General Philip Cordery said; “Studies, opinion polls, petitions; now it is more than evident that European citizens and progressive politicians understand the efficacy of a tax on speculation and ask for its implementation as soon as possible. The European Commission must comply, clearly and unhesitatingly. Starting with the impact assessment and at the next European Council, the Commission must become the champion of speculative tax”.

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