Italy, Spain, Slovakia grant commitment to EU-wide financial transaction tax

Eleven eurozone countries have backed plans to introdue a EU-wide financial transaction tax, which would impose a levy on financial trades.

The initiative, supported by Germany and France, has been opposed strongly by Germany and France.

During a European Union finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, the franco-german initiative managed to be backed by at least nine countries, as needed to move ahead with the implementation of the policy.

Italy, Spain and Slovakia said they would be ready to join the scheme. Commitment was already granted by  Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Estonia.

The exact rate and the scope of the levy has not been confirmed yet, and is expected to be about 0.1% on share and bond transactions and a lower rate on derivatives.

According to research by the European Commission, a tax on stocks, bonds and derivatives trades from 2014 could raise up to €57bn a year if applied across all EU countries.

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