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Today’s Top Headlines

New Cyprus President Sceptical on Financial Transactions Tax

By Lorys Charlamabous,, Cyprus

28 February 2013

The new President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has expressed scepticism about EU plans for a Financial Transactions Tax, taking the view that new taxes and constant tax increases will only worsen the current recession. Speaking in an interview with German newspaper Bild, Anastasiades also reiterated a complaint made by other Cypriot politicians, that the island has been unfairly associated with money-laundering.

Anastasiades's perspective on the FTT is echoed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is on record as dismissing the tax as "simply madness." However, eleven EU countries have so far expressed support for the tax, which European Union Commissioner for Taxation Algirdas Šemeta recently described as "designed to capture all transactions, all instruments, and all actors, without disrupting the functioning of markets."

Anastasiades also explained that Cyprus was willing to undergo further inspections in order to prove that claims about money-laundering on the island were exaggerated. Cyprus’s outgoing Finance Minister, Vassos Shiarly, recently published a statement on the subject in which he highlighted that legislative amendments had been made in December 2012, and that the Registrar of Companies was being made more efficient "as a matter of priority."

Anastasiades, who heads the centre-right Democratic Rally (Disy) party, won the presidency with 57.5% of the vote following a run-off election round on February 24.

TAGS: money-laundering | tax | financial services | tobin tax | Cyprus | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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