Germany: EU deal on finance levy within reach

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — Germany's finance minister says a group of European Union nations will shortly reach a deal on introducing a financial transaction tax.

Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday said on his way into a meeting of finance ministers from the 11 countries seeking the levy that an agreement on "limited taxation of stock and derivatives" trading should be reached by day's end.

Officials started pushing for the tax following the 2008-9 financial crisis to curb speculation and claw back revenues after government bailouts of banks.

The levy's scope won't be as broad as its supporters initially hoped for because of legal and practical hurdles but the EU nations behind it — including heavyweights Germany, France and Italy — say it's better to start with an imperfect solution than having no tax at all.