End Times and Current Events

General Category => Europe => Topic started by: Mark on May 06, 2014, 02:10:45 pm

Title: 10 EU nations set to tax financial transactions
Post by: Mark on May 06, 2014, 02:10:45 pm
10 EU nations set to tax financial transactions


A group of ten European Union countries has agreed to introduce a financial transaction tax from 2016 onward, in an effort to curb speculation and claw back revenues after governments had to bail out banks.

The nations — including economic heavyweights Germany, France, Italy and Spain — will initially tax only the trading of shares and some derivatives, according to a joint statement published Tuesday on the sidelines of a meeting of the 28-nation bloc's finance ministers.

The levy's scope won't be as broad as supporters initially hoped, but the countries said they hope to reach agreement on a tax that would include trading in most financial products later on.

The EU estimates a broad levy could yield some 30 billion euros ($42 billion) in additional annual tax revenues.

Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger, who played a leading role in the tax negotiations, said the group will now work to overcome remaining practical hurdles to finalize the legislation by the end of this year.

European officials started pushing for the tax following the 2008-09 financial crisis when governments had to spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer money for bailouts to avoid a complete meltdown of the financial system. Still, they failed to muster the required unanimity for an EU-wide solution.

Britain, which is home to the bloc's biggest financial hub, the City of London, is strongly opposed to the plan, saying it's a populist measure that will harm the economy and undermine banks' global competitiveness.

"It's not a tax on bankers, it's a tax on job on investment, on people's pensions. That's why the United Kingdom does not want to be a part of it," U.K. treasury chief George Osborne said.

But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble voiced optimism that a successful introduction of the tax will create pressure for the 17 EU countries currently not participating to join in later.

Slovenia previously pledged to introduce the tax as well, making it the 11th member of the group, but its finance minister didn't sign Tuesday's statement because his government resigned Monday.

Campaigners in favor of what is sometimes referred to as "Robin Hood Tax" said the EU nations' proposal wasn't ambitious enough. Charity Oxfam insisted the "compromise does not yet ... ensure that the financial sector is finally made to pay its fair share of tax."

Germany's Schaeuble acknowledged the scope of the current proposal wasn't as broad as hoped, but said it was better than an elusive pursuit of a perfect deal everybody would sign up to in a distant future.

"The least ideal solution is that we're all in favor (of a tax) but we don't get it done," he said.

Britain's Osborne, meanwhile, denounced the lack of detail of the current tax proposal and threatened Britain would challenge any financial transaction tax if it were to affect also EU economies not participating.

"If they seek to damage jobs and investment across the rest of Europe, then we are entitled to challenge that," he insisted.

The EU's top court last week dismissed a British challenge to the introduction of the tax as premature since the tax has yet to be established. Britain argued it is illegal under EU law since it would affect even countries who don't sign up to it.


Title: Re: 10 EU nations set to tax financial transactions
Post by: Mark on May 27, 2016, 06:32:17 pm
MPs warn voters being 'conned' as Brussels keeps plans for EU army secret until after referendum

British voters are being “conned” by Brussels officials who are keeping plans for a European army secret until after the referendum, leading Tories have claimed.

Liam Fox, the former defence secretary who served under David Cameron, told The Telegraph that the ambitions showed the EU is wedded to the “dangerous fantasy” of creating a single defence force.

Another eurosceptic Tory MP said voters were being “deceived” and “hoodwinked” about the true scale of the EU’s drive to create a single army.

The backlash came as it emerged plans to move towards the creation of a European army are being kept secret from British voters until the day after next month’s referendum

Drawn up by the EU’s foreign policy chief, the Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy foresees the formation of new European military and operational structures.

This first step towards an EU army is supported by Germany and other countries, The Times reports.

In 2011, similar proposals were vetoed by Britain, although there were concerns that a loophole could allow nine states to group together to bypass opponents.

In an effort to avoid derailing the Prime Minister’s Remain campaign, the policy plans will not be sent to national governments until the day after Britons vote.

Until then, only a small group of EU political and security committee ambassadors, who must leave their electronic devices outside a sealed room, can read the proposal.

However hand written notes can be taken.

Extracts of the text in notes taken by dipomats, seen by The Times, emphasise that “security and defence is where a step change is most urgent”.

The paper warns that “in turbulent times, we need a compass to navigate the waters of a faster-changing world”.   

The news comes as figures show a record number of immigrants arrived in Britain last year for work, and net migration reached 333,0000.

Head of foreign policy in the EU, Federica Mogherini, has reportedly spent 18 months preparing the defence document to be discussed by European leaders at a summit on June 28.

Mr Fox told The Telegraph: “Those of us who have always warned about Europe’s defence ambitions have always been told not to worry, but step-by-step that ever closer union is becoming a reality. We cannot afford to be conned in this referendum as we were conned in 1975.

“The best way to protect ourselves is to stay close to the US. The US defence budget is bigger than the next 11 countries in the world put together. Europe’s defence intentions are a dangerous fantasy and risk cutting us off from our closest and most powerful ally.

“We’re always told not to worry about the next integration and then it happens. We’ve been too often conned before and we must not be conned again.”

Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “This is the way the EU operates. The people were deceived about the aims of the EU in 1975 and they’re being deceived again today. For the security of our country we must vote to leave the EU.

“This blows out of the water the Prime Minister’s claim that we’re being excluded from ever closer union. Voters are being hoodwinked once again.”