Today we had some good coming out of Brussels. Instead of being held up by the few countries opposing the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), European leaders have decided to introduce the tax among willing member countries.
This means that Europe has started along the path to an FTT, but there is still a long way to go.
It is important that we keep the pressure up in Europe; keeping the moment, in order to avoid this being needlessly dragged out and dying a slow death in a committee room.
It is also vital that we keep campaigning here as the British government is one of those refusing to sign up to this tax. This tax is a fair way for those financial institutions to fix some of the damage they have caused, as well as raising money for vital public services here and fighting poverty abroad.
Here is the Socialist and Democrats grouping’s statement on the matter.
S&D EURO MPS CALL FOR A SWIFT INTRODUCTION OF A FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX
S&D Euro MPs today welcomed EU leaders' decision to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) among the member states willing to do so.
"The decision on the FTT is a big success for the European Parliament and in particular for our Group", said S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda.
"We would have liked to have a European-wide FTT; this would have been the most efficient and would have ensured a fair contribution of the financial markets to solving crisis which they caused.
"But it is important that we start with an enhanced cooperation among the willing countries.
"A quick implementation must now be ensured and we must have a tax rate adequate for the financial markets to participate in the costs of the crisis", he added.
"It is the moment in time to turn to action. We cannot afford to lose this momentum", stressed Anni Podimata, author of the Parliamentary report on this issue.
"We would prefer an EU-wide tax but the EU cannot be held hostage by a handful of member states who do not want to go further.
"Enhanced cooperation is good for those who wish to move forward. This has clearly been indicated by the European Parliament with the large majority vote in the May plenary session.
"The European Parliament will now follow the next steps very closely, this relates especially to the process of launching the enhanced cooperation.
"We urge the member states taking the initiative to lead this process. For us, it is important that the FTT should have the widest possible scope covering all financial products including shares, bonds and derivatives", she concluded.