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Taxes

Moscovici: Transaction tax not before 2015

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has said it will take some two years before a financial transaction tax can be introduced in 11 EU countries. But once in place, billions of euros are to be gained annually.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday the financial transaction tax agreed by 11 eurozone countries would take some two years to prepare thoroughly.

Moscovici told French broadcasters BFMTV and RMC that the tax could not be implemented across the group before the end of 2014, adding, though that there was little to stop individual nations from introducing it at an earlier stage.

On Tuesday, EU finance ministers gave the green light for France, Germany and nine other eurozone members to push ahead with the so-called Robin Hood tax after it had become obvious that such a tax could not be implemented in the whole of the European Union, given strong resistance from the UK and others.

Reservations persist

Moscovici maintained that as of 2015, the financial transaction tax could wash billions of euros into state coffers annually.

The group of 11 volunteers argued the levy would go towards making the financial sector contribute to resolving the current economic crisis, which in their eyes was partly of its own making.

But critics had argued the tax might drive away much-needed investment from Europe. The deputy floor leader of Germany's pro-business Free Democrats, Volker Wissing, told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Wednesday his party would only agree to such a tax, if pending legislation was shaped in such a way that financial operations would not be shifted away from Germany as a result of the levy.

hg/jr (dpa, AFP)