UK, Sweden criticise financial tax as EU countries push for it

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11 Eurozone countries pushed on Tuesday for a controversial tax on financial trading, also know as the Robin Hood Tax.

Led by France and Germany, the supporters of the tax hope to start implementing it in 2016.

But crucial questions remain unanswered, such as how high the tax should be and how it will be implemented.

The European Commission designed the proposal in 2011 in reaction to the financial crisis. But the proposal has strong opponents, like Britain and Sweden.

London has expressed its opposition from the very beginning, fearing its financial hub, the City, may lose some business. Stockholm has called it ‘costly and inefficient’.

Divisions between supporters of the tax may see the Commission’s proposal being shelved after the EU elections.

“We think that the FTT is a very inefficient and costly tax, it has a detrimental effect on financing of investments and also on interest rates in Europe (…). The process should have been open to all countries and the lack of information on the proposal is a real problem. We would be very critical both to the process and to the proposal.’ said Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg.

Deep disagreements between member states over the benefits of the tax led the proposal to become optional. So far, 11 EU Member States have signed up to it.


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