4 July 2013
The adoption, by the European Parliament, with a large majority, of the report of MEP and Vice-President of the EP, Anni Podimata, for the implementation of a financial transactions tax (FTT) by 11 EU member states within the framework of enhanced cooperation, is an additional significant step in the right direction.
Through this decision, the persistent and concerted efforts made by the Socialist International and many democratic and progressive forces in Europe and around the world, are also rewarded.
Now, this effort should be continued, aiming at:
First, the leaders of the EU countries, so that the European Council takes, as soon as possible, a final decision for the immediate implementation of the measure in at least the 11 EU countries that have adopted it, and hopefully, soon, all member states.
Second, all leaders, beyond the EU, as well as the G20, in order to promote the measure at global level.
To support further this initiative, is the duty of all democratic and progressive forces around the world, in order to defend the public interest and restore a sense of social justice.
I note, once again, that this is one of the few decisions taken by the EU during the current sovereign debt crisis that has a social character. The implementation of this measure will have a number of positive consequences for all EU citizens for the following reasons:
- It specifically targets speculators, whose greed had a catastrophic impact on our economies and the life of our citizens.
- It targets the financial sector, which remains inadequately regulated in a fragmented global framework.
- It creates an opportunity to redress some of the injustices created by a financial sector who although responsible for the crisis, profited from its consequences.
- It will raise funds that will help reducing the deficits of EU member states in a more socially just manner.
- It will contribute in restoring the proper role of the financial sector, which is to finance and facilitate the real economy.
To a large extent, the decision of the European Parliament is an achievement in accordance with one of the main goals of the agenda we set and are pursuing together, all member parties of the Socialist International: tighter regulation and oversight of financial transactions and tax havens.
Expecting that the necessary procedures in the EU will be implemented shortly, I urge more countries and institutions to contribute in the efforts to adopt this measure at international level for the benefit of both national economies and global citizens.
George A. Papandreou
President of the Socialist International