A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Some of Europe’s biggest film stars came together to launch today a new short film Future News, directed by David Yates, which brings to light the enormous potential of a Robin Hood Tax.
The film comes out five years on from the start of Europe’s deepest recession in recent history, which has caused wide-spread suffering not only in the EU but around the world. With 11 European countries now looking to implement a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) this year, which could generate up to €37 billion a year, the video highlights that the revenue could not only be used for alleviating the strain on threatened public services in Europe, but also to tackle poverty and climate change in poor countries.
The film, produced with the support of international agency Oxfam and partners, takes place ten years from now in a Europe which has seen the effective implementation of the FTT by all the key financial players with the exception of the UK. As representatives from Germany, France and Spain highlight the successes of the tax, Britain fumes at missing the opportunity to introduce the 0.05% tax of financial instruments such as shares, bonds and derivatives.
Representing four countries across the European Union, the film highlights the different roles each country is playing in the process. British actors Bill Nighy, who plays a regretful banker, and Andrew Lincoln, both represent a country which, currently, is reluctant to adopt the so-called ‘Robin Hood tax’. Meanwhile, German Heike Makatsch, French Clémence Poesy, and Spanish Javier Cámara, who play slightly more gleeful bankers, hail from countries that hold the key to the success of the EU11 FTT group.
The film comes out the day before a key Franco-German meeting in Paris where Ministers are expected to set out their joint vision of the tax.
QUOTES BY THE DIRECTOR & THE ACTORS
Director David Yates, best known for directing the final four films in the Harry Potter series, said: "I agreed to direct the film because the Robin Hood Tax is a simple yet brilliant idea. We need to learn the lessons of the financial crisis and ensure that banks and hedge funds work in the interests of society not the other way around."
Andrew Lincoln, star of TV’s the Walking Dead, said: "After six years of shaky recovery and decreasing living standards, it is time for our leaders to be ambitious and act in the interest of the people and the planet.
"It is rare that a tax could garner such incredible support from people across Europe, but the Robin Hood Tax is an obviously fair way to ensure that those responsible for the economic crisis pay to clear up the mess it caused.”
Clémence Poesy, of Harry Potter and In Bruges fame, said: “If France and the other ten countries seriously considering going ahead with the tax decide to do so, up to €37bn could be raised each year. Spending this money on the fight against poverty, including the worldwide AIDS pandemic, and climate change is the right thing to do.”
Bill Nighy, star of Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean, said: “Four years after the launch of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, this tiny tax that could do so much good is on the verge of becoming a reality. France, Germany and nine other European countries are about to introduce it. It would be deeply regrettable if the rest of the world were caught on the wrong side of history.”
“Introducing the tax alone will not be enough, the billions it will raise need to be invested in tackling poverty at home and abroad and fighting climate change.”
Javier Cámara, star of a Bad Education and I’m So Excited, said: “With up to eight million Spaniards expected to fall into poverty by 2025, the Robin Hood tax presents an opportunity to alleviate the worst suffering of those not just in Europe, but around the world as well. ”
Heike Makatsch, who starred alongside Nighy in Love Actually, said: “European leaders have spent long-enough talking about the Robin Hood Tax. It is now time to get serious, push aside the discredited arguments against the tax from the financial lobby and implement a fair tax which could help millions of people across Europe and in the developing world.”
Notes to editors
Photos of the short film, Future News, are available.
Angela Corbalan on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or firstname.lastname@example.org