France eyes financial transaction tax deal at G20

PARIS Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:24am EDT

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin pauses during a news conference in Beijing August 26, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin pauses during a news conference in Beijing August 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

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PARIS (Reuters) - France wants concrete results for a controversial international tax on financial transactions at November's G20 summit of leading economies, Finance Minister Francois Baroin said in remarks published on Sunday.

Francois Baroin and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble met in Paris on August 23 with a view to tabling a joint proposal to their European Union partners in September.

European banks have poured scorn on the idea of a financial transaction tax, a long-standing French proposal, saying it would not stabilize markets.

"We are working on a proposal that we will present to the European Union in September, which will be studied in the autumn," Baroin said in an interview with newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. "We are determined to get results at the G20 on November 3-4 in Cannes."

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet has said in the past that such a tax would not work unless it is applied globally and Britain, home to the region's biggest financial center, is also opposed to the EU going it alone.

Baroin said no definitive position on the details of the proposal had been set.

Last week's meeting with Schaeuble also aimed to flesh out objectives President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed earlier in August to step up economic governance of the euro zone, including specific plans for France and Germany to align their corporate tax bases and tax rates from 2013.

Baroin said the company tax convergence would serve as an example for wider European integration and that proposals would be set out for 2012 with its adoption the following year.

"In practice, we anticipate beginning convergence as soon as September's budget amendments," Baroin said.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by David Holmes)

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