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Austria, Germany Remain Committed To FTT

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

13 September 2012

Following a recent meeting in Vienna, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart Werner Faymann underlined their commitment to the European project, to the euro as a common currency at the heart of Europe, and to the idea of a financial transactions tax.

Underscoring the need to reform and to be “disciplined”, Chancellor Faymann alluded to the fact that Austria has already agreed to anchor a debt brake rule in its constitution, and has also adopted the permanent eurozone rescue mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), together with the fiscal compact aimed at ensuring greater fiscal discipline in Europe. The fiscal compact is just as important as the rescue mechanism, Faymann added.

Highlighting the fact that the financial transactions tax is also important, serving to contribute to discipline and order in the markets, as well as being a source of additional revenues, Faymann stressed that Germany, Austria, France and other countries remain committed to the tax.

The finance ministers involved in enhanced cooperation have set themselves the task of drawing up a proposal to create the framework conditions for the tax, Faymann explained. He pointed out that Austria has already provided in its budget that by the end of next year a decision will be made, with revenues from the tax expected from 2014.

Echoing the Austrian Chancellor’s remarks, Merkel insisted that the euro is not just an economic project, it is also a political project, symbolizing the irreversibility of Europe, where views are shared, including on the financial transactions tax, where Germany and Austria are working very closely to press forward and find a European solution within the context of enhanced cooperation. "We will do everything to implement the levy as quickly as possible," Merkel stressed.

Merkel explained that there are a number of tasks to address in the autumn, not only in terms of each member state continuing with its reforms, but also as regards further developing the economic and monetary union. The issue of banking supervision will also be discussed, Merkel said.

TAGS: tax | investment | banking | capital markets | tobin tax | offshore | Austria | France | Germany | currency

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