EU financial transaction tax gains enough support for launch

LUXEMBOURG Tue Oct 9, 2012 6:52am EDT

LUXEMBOURG Oct 9 (Reuters) - Eleven European Union countries support the introduction of a tax on financial transactions, EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta told EU finance ministers on Tuesday, a number that exceeds the nine needed to legally launch the initiative.

"We see that four additional member states intend to join enhanced cooperation, so it means that we arrive to 11 member states," Semeta told the ministers during a televised part of their discussions in Luxembourg.

"I would like to remind those that stated it orally that they formally, in writing, present their request for enhanced cooperation. Only when we will receive nine or more formal letters, only then the process will start."

The new countries that joined the initiative are Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Estonia.

The initiative is strongly backed by Germany and France, although there are differences of opinion over how much revenue the tax will generate and what the income should be used for.

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