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24 / 05 / 12 - European Parliament approves Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)

The European Parliament adopted by strong majority proposals on a French-inspired financial transaction tax (FTT) which has been bitterly opposed by Britain. Malta is also against the introduction of the tax and Maltese MEPs voted against.

The resolution in favour of the FTT, approved with 487 votes in favour, 152 against and 46 abstentions, calls for the implementation of the tax by the beginning of 2015 "even if only some member states opt for it." Nine countries have come out in favour. They are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.


According to British Prime Minister David Cameron who joined the European Union summit to discuss how to spur growth across crisis-hit Europe, said that the tax would undermine London as a global financial centre.

"The FTT is an integral part of an exit from crisis, It will bring a fairer distribution of the weight of the crisis and will not lead to relocation outside the EU because the cost of this is higher than paying the tax" said parliamentary rapporteur Anni Podimata, a Greek Socialist.

Parliament approved the tax rates proposed by the Commission, 0.1 per cent for transactions of shares and bonds, and 0.01 per cent for derivatives.

Pressure group Oxfam said that EU leaders "cannot afford to ignore this overwhelming vote" and that cash raised should be "used to help poor people at home and abroad hit by the economic crisis and to combat climate change."