Radio Foro: On the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)

The sixth summit between representatives of the European Union and Latin American and the Caribbean was held in Madrid in the midst of the continuing effects of the (economic) crisis.

Following the substantial panic in the financial sector which rose out of the Lehmann Brothers incident, the economic collapse in Greece has emerged at the forefront of European current events. The millions of euros spent in rescue packages have not seemed to make much of a dent in resolving their astronomical debts. In this vein, outcome for Portugal and Spain is still uncertain.

How Greece will come out of this crisis remains to be seen, but there is no question that Greek society is resisting the proposed social austerity measures.

The official debate revolves around imposing reforms to the financial system with the hopes of resolving this question during a planned G20 for June of this year.

One the primary concerns is how to balance the millions of euros in presumed costs in the context of the financial crisis. One of the reforms that have been discussed has been the FTT (Financial Transaction Tax). The FTT has been pushed by various social groups and has already found resonation in Germany, England, and France.

The fair trade tax encompasses a broad spectrum of approaches, ranging from the Tobin tax and including other types of proposals for fair trade measures. Although the Tobin tax was heavily criticized in times past, the FTT has since gained international recognition as a plausible alternative. During the last G20 summit in Pittsburgh, the International Monetary Fund added a proposal to its forum to release a study on the FTT.

In various countries, echoes have emerged calling for the implementation of this so-called "Robín Hood Tax." Interested in finding out more about the proposal, Radio Matraca interviewed Peter Wahl, a recognized spokesperson for the anti-globalization movement in Germany. Wahl was also one of the founders of Attac Germany and is currently a member of the non-governmental organization WEED.

Peter Wahl spoke with us as one of the proponents of the campaign for the Robin Hood Tax. We asked him about how the tax works, its advantages, and its economic implications.

This radio report can be heard only in Spanish

Beitrag: Radio Matraca

English translation: Rebecca Ellis

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