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Schäuble calls for financial transaction tax

The Local · 31 Oct 2011, 06:20

Published: 31 Oct 2011 06:20 GMT+01:00

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Schäuble said he backed using the 17-member eurozone as a testing ground for the levy, which is designed to restrict speculative trading, even though Britain and its vast financial sector are firmly against it.

Schäuble said he respected the arguments of Britain, a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone.

He hoped it would be convinced to adopt the tax if it proved to be a success within the eurozone.

Schäuble hoped an agreement could be reached at this week's G20 meeting in Cannes, France, before the proposal was presented to EU finance ministers on November 8.

The minister also said that the current debt crisis was an opportunity to push for closer fiscal union within the eurozone.

Schäuble told the FT that the bloc needed "stronger institutions to oversee the implementation of a commonly agreed finance policy.

"That is what I call fiscal union," he added. "We need to take big steps to get that done."

Britain is also worried about closer fiscal union within the zone, fearing it may be left out of key policy-making decisions.

Despite last week's deal to rescue the eurozone from immediate danger, many economists fear that the sovereign debt crisis may have some distance to run, with Italy's situation a major cause for concern.

Schäuble urged Italy's leaders to live up to their own responsibilities and solve its own problems.

Creditors last week agreed to take a 50-percent hit on outstanding Greek debt.

Story continues below…

But in an interview with the BBC aired on Monday European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet has warned other European countries in financial difficulties not to expect such generous terms in the event of a bailout.

"Greece was Greece and everybody recognises that it is a special case," he



The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:20 October 31, 2011 by jg.
There cannot be many better ways to trigger a UK referendum on EU membership than to try to rail road the UK into contributing even more to the EU and specifically, into supporting the Eurozone, of which it is not a member. Several French and Belgian politicians have made it absolutely clear that Britain would not receive any assistance from the Eurozone in the event of a Sterling crisis but the proposed tax is clearly aimed at extracted more cash from the UK - not long after Tony Blair gave up the UK's rebate for an unfulfilled promise to reform the CAP.
13:11 October 31, 2011 by michael4096
I never understood why the EU was so eager to have the UK as a member: they never pay their way; they want the benefits of the community but always want opt-outs to give themselves an unfair advantage; and they are forever winging about how badly things are organized or trying to sabotage things instead of knuckling down and working at making things better.

There will not be a UK referendum while there enough sensible politicians to recognize that the UK gets far more out of Europe than it puts in. There will never be a fair debate about Europe while these same politicians find appealing to jingoism easier than explaining 'complex' concepts - like cooperation and partnership.
14:51 October 31, 2011 by jg.
michael4096 "I never understood why the EU was so eager to have the UK as a member: they never pay their way"

The UK has always "paid their way" and has long been a net contributor to the EU (even with the rebate). In addition, the UK has had an ongoing substantial trade deficit with the rest of the EU (AFAIR, about 4billion GBP). That might aid your understanding as to why other EU states were so keen to bring the UK on board.

Whereas Germany balances EU net contributions with trade surpluses, the UK receives much less from the EU than it pays in (2nd only to Germany) but is also stuck with the huge trade imbalance.

It is all very well to talk of cooperation and partnership but the balance these concepts imply has always been lacking in the EU's dealings with the UK.

As for a referendum on EU membership, a recent ICM/Guardian poll (October 2011) found that 70% wanted a referendum and 49% wanted to leave the EU, against 40% who wanted to stay in. There doesn't have to be any jingoism in this - it is just that EU membership has not worked for Britain. Britain needs to get a grip on its own debt, to regenerate agriculture and fisheries, to regain some manufacturing capacity and associated jobs - none of which will happen if Britain remains in the EU.
15:38 October 31, 2011 by cambiste
You state the facts correctly jg.Those of us who are pro the EU are not helped by michael4096 writing such rubbish.Where does he get his statistics from?
18:37 October 31, 2011 by michael4096
Touched a nerve, I have.

So, given such a disparity between contribution and return, a UK government slashing and burning everything in sight to save costs obviously chooses the EU as the primary mechanism available to balance the budget? No? Well, perhaps it isn't only me that has got the sums 'wrong' in your definitions.

What are you comparing? Have you even worked out that you *are* comparing, rather than just winging?

What is the alternative to the EU? The UK circa 100 years ago? A quarter of the world on which the sun never sets? C'mon guys get real. The UK can choose to join the rest of the world in the 21st century or continue looking backwards until it is baled out like Greece - which was once a good deal more than a quarter of the known world.

The current (failing?) hegemon is the US, the rising star is China, waiting in the wings is India. Where is the UK? Not even on the map! Its one hope is joining a combined Europe and taking its rightful place as a leading part of a significant area on the planet. However, with ideas like yours, it just becomes just another historical if-only..
20:04 October 31, 2011 by Bomo
Hi Michael4096,

It seems to me that you need to get yourself a life rather than getting all bent out of shape on forums. If you must remain then do your homework first :-)
16:31 November 4, 2011 by dbert4
"the UK has had an ongoing substantial trade deficit with the rest of the EU "

Same problem the US has. When one doesn't any longer manufacture, what do they have to export? In the US case, only financial toxins and crisis.
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