European Socialist Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers call today for a tax on financial transactions across Europe. The tax, often named the “Robin Hood” tax on account of its aim to take money from the wealthy financial sector to redirect it to the public sphere, has for many years been supported by members of the S & D Group in the European Parliament as well as a number of celebrities including Bill Nighy.You may be interested to read the following statement from the Socialist Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers and the Party of European Socialists ahead of the European Council on 24th and 25th March:
At the European Council meeting on 24th and 25th March 2011, decisions will be taken which will have far reaching consequences on the European economy and our societies.
The Party of European Socialists (PES) and its Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers, firmly reiterate our call for a balanced approach in tackling the economic, financial and social crisis in Europe. We commit to promoting efficient and fair solutions to reunite the necessary fiscal consolidation with strong sustainable growth, high employment and social progress.
At the meeting in Athens on 4th and 5th March 2011, the PES Leaders identified concrete policies to restore a balanced common approach to the challenges Europe is facing and adopted a declaration to this purpose.
We are focusing on four decisive points:
Financial Transaction Tax
The PES has for a long time been at the forefront in calling for a European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). We reiterate our call for the immediate implementation of such a tax in the European Union, to raise fair and sustainable revenue to support economic recovery and public finances in all member states and to mitigate speculation on the financial markets.
The Rescue Mechanism
We welcome the setting up of a permanent rescue mechanism for the eurozone, which rewards the tenacity of European socialists and social democrats over the past 13 months. However, more needs to be done. The future European Stability Mechanism, as well as the current European Financial Stability Facility, must furthermore apply balanced conditionality, allowing for sustainable public finances as well as growth and employment. Interest rates charged on rescue loans must for this reason be aligned to market financing rates.
Within the framework of the reform of EU and eurozone economic governance and economic policy coordination, we reiterate our commitment to reaching the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. To ensure, that our 2020-objectives can be reached, we need to develop further the economic pillar of the eurozone in a balanced way. For this purpose, National Reform Programmes and Stability and Convergence Programmes must be prepared according to the integrated guidelines.
Furthermore, the issue of macroeconomic imbalances in the Eurozone must be tackled, notably by promoting economic efficiency in deficit countries and internal demand in surplus countries.
We urge for a balanced reform which includes an “Employment and Social Progress Pact”, establishing common and ambitious measures to preserve and strengthen our social models, inter alia relating to labour standards, minimum income and workers’ rights. Moreover, we reiterate our demand that the autonomy of social partners, notably in wage setting processes for which the EU has no competence, must be respected.