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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Comments (1)
deWhit wrote:
If the world financial situation is to return to normal, it has to recognize what caused the melt down in the first place. So far all it has done is wring its collective hands and point fingers at the banks. What caused the melt down was not the banks but uncontrolled speculation in the commodities futures markets, particulary in the crude oil markets. Some European nations have banned short selling in their stock markets as a means to restore order, but that does not go far enough. What has to be done, and on a worldwide basis, perhaps a UN resolution, is ban commodity futures trading by individuals and hedgefunds that do not have an actual brick and mortor business in the commodity being traded. Such a ban will not harm legitmate traders, but what it will do is restore prices to normal levels, allowing people to go back to work. No taxes would be needed, just law enforcement of the ban against speculation in all commodities futures, not just crude oil.


Aug 28, 2011 9:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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