Registered: Aug 2002
06-13-12 02:18 PM
Quote from Explorer:
The European Commission signaled for the first time Wednesday it is ready to approve a group of countries moving ahead with a financial transactions tax which wouldn't apply across all 27 countries of the European Union, a spokeswoman said.
In a briefing with reporters, Emer Traynor, spokeswoman for Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the EU's executive continues to hope its transactions tax proposal will be adopted by all 27 EU member states.
But she said given the "big pressure to move forward now with this project and to reach swift decisions" on it from those member states who back the tax, the commission would be ready to give the go-ahead to a "smaller group."
"[The] commission would be ready to do anything that it could to support member states who are willing to push ahead," Ms. Traynor said.
She said EU finance ministers will discuss "next steps" on the tax at the June 22 meeting in Luxembourg.
Under EU rules, a minimum of nine member states can move forward on a joint proposal under the so-called enhanced cooperation procedure. But this can only happen as a last resort and only if the commission approves this and a qualified majority of member states support it.
Earlier this year, France, Germany and others were signatories to a letter from nine member states saying they wished to forge ahead with the tax. But the measure is strongly opposed by the U.K., Ireland and Sweden among others who have said they would veto the tax at the level of the 27 member states.
The commission last year proposed a levy on shares, bonds and other securities it believes could raise around EUR80 billion annually by 2020. But even some of the member states that back the tax have suggested they may change the tax proposal presented by the commission.
The European Parliament, which has no veto over the issue, has also backed the tax although it called for the scope of the levy to be broadened.
It will be very interesting to see if they can come up with 9 EZ yes votes. I think they probably won't when it comes right down to it.