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Union leader, Merkel at odds over financial transaction tax

DDP/The Local · 16 May 2010, 16:03

Published: 16 May 2010 16:03 GMT+02:00

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Speaking at the opening of the conference for the Confederation of German Trade Unions, the umbrella group representing eight top unions and about 7 million workers, chairman Michael Sommer said the country’s “patience for greed and avarice is at an end.”

Sommer predicted that speculators betting on Greece’s debt would eventually target other countries with ballooning deficits, like Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy – and ultimately turn toward Germany.

During her speech at Sunday’s conference, Chancellor Merkel rejected the notion of a tax on financial transactions, saying it would affect businesses. She also defended the bank levy system, which would see banks pay into a fund earmarked for future crises.

“The bank levies are appropriate, but they shouldn’t be the only mechanism,” Merkel said.

Sommer said such requirements were “not a reasonable alternative.” He also criticized financial institutions for continuing to speculate, despite having received billions in government bailout funds.

“That the financial sharks show their gratitude by gambling against entire countries, endangering the euro … is a disgrace,” he said.

Story continues below…

Wolfgang Kubicki, leader of the pro-business Free Democrats party group in Schleswig-Holstein’s state parliament, also voiced his support for a tax on financial transactions – a departure from the FDP's party line – in an interview with Welt Online posted Sunday.

“I’m also a supporter of a temporary financial transaction tax,” Kubicki said, adding that tax burden should be reduced for smaller and mid-range earnings.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

01:08 May 17, 2010 by derExDeutsche
She forgets that the Markets don't need to buy Govt. bonds either.

If Member Govt.s werent running up so much debt. and lending money to Greece that any idiot knows Greece is not going to pay back, we wouldn't be betting against the Euro.

Merkel and the EU Unions know damn well where the smart money is, and they can't stand that people stand to gain on their Stupidity. So they HAVE to tax those speculating AGAINST the Euro, because they know betting FOR the Euro stinks on ice.

Its like FC Bayern playing Hertha BSC and only taxing the people Betting FC Bayern to win. Those EVIL EVIL Bayern Fans. lol.

Really, they tell us It has nothing to do with the fact that Hertha BSC sucks! Those evil sport fans know nothing. lol. Tax them!
02:50 May 19, 2010 by Foreign interest.
When the unions drive all your investment offshore, they will be complaining that there are too few jobs.

Just destroy everything. The rest of the world is not going to comply.
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