Austria blocks German financial transaction tax in ECOFIN

The proposal tabled by Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is unacceptable in its current form, said Austrian counterpart Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) in his first ECOFIN council. He claimed that the current proposal would not fulfil the original purpose of a financial transaction tax, which is to punish speculators for high-risk gambling with national currencies and would hurt small investors.

Also, since many Austrians buy stocks to bolster their pensions plans, Austria demands a new proposal, or it would withdraw from the negotiations.

These negotiations are being conducted under the EU’s “Enhanced Cooperation” procedure, meaning that only ten EU member states participate. Since the minimum is eight states for the procedure to work, Austria’s withdrawal would mean that if only one more state chooses to leave, Germany’s push for the tax would have failed. (Philipp Grüll |

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