Belgium and Slovakia’s refusal to compromise could sink Financial Transaction Tax warns Oxfam

The unrealistic demands of Belgium and Slovakia are undermining negotiations for a ground-breaking Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) said Oxfam today.  

France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Belgium were expected to announce an agreement on the core elements of the FTT at an EU Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels today but postponed the decision until September. A key sticking point in the negotiations has been Belgium and Slovakia’s demands to exempt certain types of financial transactions (derivatives) from the tax.

By placing a tiny levy on financial transactions, the FTT has the potential to raise billions of Euro’s every year.

Javier Pereira, Oxfam EU policy advisor said:  

“The failure to agree core elements of a new Financial Transaction Tax after three years of negotiations is deeply disappointing.  While the majority of countries are working hard to reach an agreement it appears the FTT is being held hostage by Belgium and Slovakia’s refusal to compromise.

“The FTT could raise billions of Euros to help fund vital public services in Europe and across the globe.  It is too important to fail.  Governments must redouble their efforts to reach agreement by September,” added Pereira.

Oxfam is calling for half of the revenues generated by the Financial Transaction Tax to be used to help poor countries reduce poverty and deal with the impacts of climate change.   

Contact information: 

Florian Oel,, +32-473-56 22 60, @florianoel @OxfamEU 

Anna Ratcliff, , +44 7796993288, @ratcliff_anna