EU Finance Ministers break deadlock on transaction taxes and now must deliver for the poorest

Published: 22nd June 2012

Today EU Finance Ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, agreed to drop the idea of an EU-wide European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). Instead, Ministers proposed to move forward in taxing the financial sector with a group of pioneer governments. 

 Nicolas Mombrial, Oxfam’s EU spokesperson, said:
“We're delighted that a coalition of willing countries has finally asked the UK and other blockers to step out of the way.  Europe can finally move beyond talking, and has a real opportunity to introduce an FTT that will help to fight poverty and climate change.

“At next week’s EU Heads of State Summit, as many governments as possible must join the French, Germans and other countries and show they’re ready to put the interests of ordinary people before those of the financial sector.
“To gain popular support, a significant part of the revenues should go to people who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis in poor countries, as suggested by Presidents Hollande and Barroso this week. Using the proceeds of a new tax only for EU projects or to pay down deficits would be a betrayal of the millions who support a Robin Hood Tax.”


Notes to Editors

  • Yesterday, speaking at the Rio+20 summit, French President François Hollande committed to allocate a significant part of the revenues of an FTT to development
  • Earlier this week at the G20 summit in Mexico, European Commission President José Manual Barroso said: "We are expecting FTT to become a reality, at the EU and if possible the global level. The FTT with other innovative ways of financing development will be a contribution to global solidarity. We expect to come to a decision soon on agreement on an FTT. I will raise this point at Rio: we will not forget the poorest of the world." 
  • Also this week, fifty-two former and current financiers have written to European and world leaders calling on them to back FTTs to raise revenue for “people in urgent need at home and in the world’s poorest countries 
  • Recent Oxfam research revealed that a Eurozone breakup could cost the world’s poorest countries $30 billion in lost trade and foreign investment.

Contact information

Angela Corbalan on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or