6 Sep 2011

Nicolas Sarkozy is indeed pushing for introducing an FTT

On the 31st August, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave a speech to an assembly of French Ambassadors at the Elysée Palace. In the English translation of the speech, which you can find here, he says the following:

"Angela Merkel and I support the idea of a tax on financial transactions. Our objective is for Europe to set an example of what can be done, so that the others rally to this initiative in Cannes. During the next two months, Mesdames et Messieurs les Ambassadeurs, I want you to actively champion this idea in the countries where you are posted. France is in the vanguard of this fight. In fact, no one complains about paying a tax when shopping for household items or consumer goods. How is it that the only transactions that are never taxed are financial transactions? And who would dare say to the people of the world that the behavior of the world of finance, the financial world was so exemplary during the financial crisis that this little closed world absolutely should be protected from any attempt to tax financial transactions? Who would dare say that to the people of the world? Naturally, if we wait for everyone to agree, we will wait for a long time."

"Europe must set an example. Europe has ideas to defend. Europe must adopt this tax on financial transactions at the behest of Germany and France. Then we will establish a group of the most advanced, pioneering countries to join us in taxing financial transactions. Public opinion worldwide will be the judge. In countries that reject the principle of a tax on financial transactions, I eagerly await the discussions that will take place between the governments of those countries and their public opinions. I doubt that public opinion will massively support exemptions on taxes on financial transactions. Today there is an international public opinion and it must be able to make itself heard."

I'm hardly a fervent supporter of Nicolas Sarkozy, but for once I approve 100% of this position.

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