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Coalition split over financial transaction tax

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Coalition split over financial transaction tax
Photo: DPA
19:34 CET+01:00
Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing opposition to her plans to introduce a Europe-wide tax on financial transactions - from her own government coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats.

Volker Wissing, deputy chairman of the Free Democrats parliamentary group rejected the plan to bring in the new measure swiftly, claiming small investors and businesses would bear the brunt of the levy. Meanwhile Joachim Poß from the opposition Social Democrats urged Merkel not to put up with “politics of obstruction,” and the Greens said the tax was well overdue.

In her regular video broadcast, Merkel said the eleven countries that had so far signed up to the levy were “just a start, because it would be better if everyone took part.” The ten other countries who have agreed to introduce the financial transaction tax are France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Wissing told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Saturday that banks and insurance companies were likely to push the projected €35 billion euro in annual levies to their customers. However Merkel said that in order to learn from the mistakes of the past, the goal must be “transparency.”

DAPD/kkf

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