European financial tax proposal expected by May

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — France's finance minister says Europeans are pushing ahead with the introduction of a financial transaction tax and want to present a plan by May.

Pierre Moscovici said Tuesday the 11 eurozone nations seeking to introduce the levy aim at crafting "realistic and solid" legislation before the European Parliament elections in May.

Officials started pushing for the tax in the wake of the 2008-9 financial crisis to curb excessive speculation and claw back revenues following the government bailouts of the banking industry.

The legislation has been delayed several times amid difficulties to reach agreement on what financial products should be taxed and to which extent.

EU nations estimate the levy — to be introduced in the bloc's major economies except Britain — could yield tens of billions of euros (dollars) annually.