Swoboda on a financial transaction tax: “Now it is time to act”

S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda and S&D Group spokesperson Anni Podimata today urged EU finance ministers to take action and "be serious" about introducing a financial transaction tax (FTT).

While 11 European countries* have already decided in January 2013 to go ahead with such a tax, no progress has been made since then.

In an open letter published a week before a Franco-German ministerial summit, Hannes Swoboda and Anni Podimata underline:

“Our citizens also expect the EU to deliver and to make the financial sector bear the costs of the crisis which they have provoked. They are left puzzled on how, six years after the onset of the crisis, the EU governments remain inactive. This is just not good enough!

"We therefore expect to see a responsible and ambitious FTT agreed by the 11 Ministers. This FTT is to be implemented as soon as possible, and no financial instrument, no financial actor and no financial market should be left outside the scope in order to effectively curb speculative behaviours and raise significant new revenue.

“The European Parliament has proven with an overwhelming majority that it is possible to reach a realistic, yet ambitious compromise, which preserves a wide scope and provides safeguards, such as lower rate and transitional period for sovereign debt, and other measures to protect liquidity and practices of commercial actors.

They conclude: “We count on you to reject the special pleading of vested interests and to do what is right for our citizens and the sustainability of a robust financial sector!”

*The 11 countries are: France, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia.