France could impose a tax on financial transactions for certain market operations before a full consensus is reached with other European countries, French European Affairs Minister Jean Leonetti said Friday.
The minister, speaking on “France Info” radio, said that a programme has been set out for the tax, which will be discussed at the European summit on January 30.
Leonetti said he was “reasonably optimistic” that support could be garnered for the tax that could raise USD 70 billion in levies for more speculative transactions on European markets.
The idea of the tax was initially launched by President Nicolas Sarkozy following the 2008-2009 financial crises.
Leonetti said the tax was “a moral and economic” imperative and Sarkozy was following through with his proposal it be adopted Europe-wide.
He also indicated that France had enlisted support from Germany for the tax and he hoped this commitment would be followed up on.
But there is resistance from several EU members, led by Britain and some Nordic countries, to imposing a tax that would make European markets less competitive.
“If there is a schedule at the end of January, with agreement from Germany and some other European countries, there would be a move to legislate” in France, probably before the April presidential election,” Leonetti said.