The Struggle Over the Financial Transactions Tax – A Politico-economic Farce
The struggle over the FTT has developed in three phases. In the first phase (2009 to 2011) the supporters of the tax went on the offensive, supported by the "shock effects" of the financial crisis. This phase ended with the (preliminary) "victory" in the form of the FTT proposal of the European Commission in September 2011. The second phase was shaped by the search for ways how to implement the FTT within the EU. It ended with the publication of a modified FTT proposal by the Commission in February 2013 as basis for the implementation in 11 member countries. The last phase has been marked by a strong counter-offensive of the financial lobby which succeeded in playing off FTT supporting countries against each other, in particular Germany and France. This phase ended with a defeat of the FTT supporters. Not even in a group of EU countries will a general FTT be implemented in the foreseeable future. The struggle over the FTT was mainly carried out in two "battlefields", the intellectual disputes between economists at universities, research institutes and international organisations, and the political controversies between NGOs, political parties, governments and pressure groups, in particular the finance industry.
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