Germany admits global transaction tax 'not realistic'

15th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble admitted on Saturday that it was "not realistic" to set up a financial transaction tax at the global level, but Europe should go it alone.

"It was clearly shown that we should introduce it in Europe," he said after a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 bloc of leading economies in Paris.

But on the question of whether the tax could be imposed globally, as Germany has pushed for, Schaeuble said: "It is not realistic at the current time."

In September, Europe went ahead with proposals to tax the financial sector, ignoring US opposition in a move that has also provoked grumblings in London which fears capital flight.

The idea of a tax on financial market transactions has been pushed hard by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Schaeuble said earlier in the week that Germany would go it alone if needed on such a tax, which enjoys support among publics being to make sacrifices as governments cut back spending.

Merkel recently said non-eurozone countries wanting rapid action to resolve the eurozone debt crisis should drop their opposition to a financial transaction tax.

"It is not possible that those outside the eurozone who are asking Europe to act are at the same time refusing a financial transaction tax," Merkel said in an allusion to, among others, the United States and Britain.

© 2011 AFP

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