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Macron and Merkel in EU power-grab with latest plot to strengthen Brussels

December 2, 2018 9:23 PM
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Macron and Merkel in EU power-grab with latest plot to strengthen Brussels

FRANCE and Germany will unveil plans for a joint financial transaction tax for the European Union as French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel strengthen their partnership to further expand their influence on the bloc.

Revenues from the new tax would help fund a euro zone budget and participating countries would be allowed to use the revenues to offset their contributions to the wider EU budget under new proposals. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will discuss the plans with other EU member states on the sidelines of a finance ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The joint position paper described the proposed tax as "an important element" in strengthening the 27-member bloc, noting the proposal would be included in the EU financial framework agreement for 2021 to 2027, with a vote seen in 2020.

The proposal is modelled on a system already in place in France where all transactions involving domestically issued shares by companies with a market capitalisation of over 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) are subject to the tax, Sueddeutsche reported.

France favoured earmarking revenues from the new tax solely for the euro zone budget, while Germany believed some funds could also flow into the overall EU budget.

Mr Le Maire and Mr Scholz are looking to discuss the plans with Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia.

But they will also be under pressure to address what will happen to revenues collected by those that already have such a tax, namely France, Belgium, Italy and Greece.


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