Tobin Tax for Europe, Merkel climbs aboard

The Tobin Tax, or Financial Transaction Tax, is controversial within the EU – Britain says it won't sign up for an EU wide levy – and within German Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-wing coalition government where the minority partners, the FDP, are against the idea.

But according to an article in today's Suddeutsche Zeitung, Merkel is now throwing her weight behind a Tobin Tax.

Suddeutsche has obtained a working paper for the EU summit in March where plans for "fiscal consolidation" to save the euro zone are expected to be finalized. It outlines six points for easing the crisis, including imposing the Tobin Tax. This is opposed by Merkel's coalition partners the FDP. But the Chancellor is rampant at the moment and most observers in Germany think that if she wants it, then the Bundestag will give it to her.

Among the other points in the working paper is a plan to make all job centers in the euro zone offer either a job, an apprenticeship or a training course to all unemployed. presumably with some kind of stipend – although where the money would come from for that is unclear. Perhaps from the revenue collected from the Tobin levy?

A reduction in red-tape for banks making loans to small businesses is another proposal.

There is a Google translation here, and a much more serviceable one down the Guardian's euro zone crisis live blog at 9:41 a.m.

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