Talks on controversial tax on hold

The tax would also involve banks, insurance companies and also pension fund management firms.

(Source: Sme)

Belgium and Slovakia were two countries that raised objections among the 10 eurozone members who have been discussing a financial transaction tax.

The talks over the controversial tax were re-initiated in late June 2016 after being halted at the end of 2015. But they were postponed again, mostly because of Belgium and Slovakia, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported.

“Slovakia and Belgium indicated they support the tax in general but they had some objections, mostly concerning the removal of some transactions,” Radovan Geist, editor-in-chief of the Euractiv.sk website, told Hospodárske Noviny.

The financial transaction tax would also involve banks, insurance companies and also pension fund management firms, institutions which buy and sell shares and bonds. The European banking associations united last year and objected to the tax. 

The Slovak Banking Association (SBA) has also criticised the tax.

“We consider a step in this direction risky, as the negatives of the tax will significantly exceed its expected positive impact,” said the SBA’s spokesperson, Zuzana Murcko, as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.

SBA cited the case of Sweden that had introduced the tax in the 1980s but later had to abolish it as the volume of trades on the Swedish stock market dropped and trading moved to New York and London.

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