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EU economics commissioner: Financial transaction tax 'within reach'

A deal on a financial transaction tax among 10 eurozone countries is "within reach," but it could take some "political will," Reuters reported Jan. 26, citing Pierre Moscovici, the EU's economics commissioner.

The tax, proposed years ago, seeks to impose a 0.1% tax on stock trades and 0.01% on derivatives trades, but most of the 28 EU countries have pulled out of the plan.

The 10 EU countries willing to adopt the tax, already applied domestically in some EU countries, are Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

The finance ministers of the 10 countries were to meet in Brussels on Jan. 26 on the sidelines of a monthly gathering of eurozone finance ministers.

However, the project may not make material progress before upcoming elections in Germany, which could end the coalition of conservatives and social democrats running the country, with the U.K.'s decision to exit the EU also possibly reducing the tax's appeal, according to the report. The proposed tax is primarily backed by social democrats in Germany.

In light of Brexit, such a tax may discourage banks from moving sizable parts of their operations away from the City of London.