EU Wants to Move On with TTIP by May

Written by | Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Finance ministers of France and Germany announced on Monday (April 7) that they wished the negotiations on the US-EU free trade agreement TTIP gained momentum. They insisted that by May this year, as least the first stage of a so-called “Financial Transactions Tax” (FTT) should be ready. Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble said during a joint press conference with his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, that they were both determined to approach the talks on FTT during this legislative term.
Mr Sapin added that the transaction tax was necessary just like “a first package of measures” that should be finalized before the European Parliament elections at the end of May. Both France and Germany have persuaded other nine EU member states to support their vision of taxing banks and investment companies for their excesses that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Yet, despite the support of those nine EU states, negotiations have been rather rigid so far due to intense lobbying activity against FTT.
Great Britain being one of the world’s greatest financial hubs is especially hesitant and hostile about the new tax. London sees the FTT as a severe interference with the national right to set up the system of taxation. Moreover, the UK worries that the FTT could easily drive business away as the tax would apply to any transaction, anywhere in the world, carried out by a financial institution or an investment house based in one of the 11 EU countries which have so far expressed their willingness to levy such a tax.

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