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Published: 7 september 2012 12:03

Lithuanian social democrats support financial transaction tax

Algirdas Butkevičius
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Algirdas Butkevičius

Leader of the Social Democratic Party, Algirdas Butkevičius, said on Friday his party would seek quicker introduction of a financial transaction tax, proposed by the European Commission, in Lithuania.

"My position is, and I think my fellow party members would agree, that this tax should be introduced as soon as possible," Butkevičius said at a press conference on Friday.

European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud Algirdas Šemeta had also proposed introducing a financial transaction tax in Lithuania. He said this summer that such a measure would not be a huge burden on the Lithuanian financial sector, and by backing this initiative Vilnius would demonstrate determination to take part in closer cooperation inside the EU.

Currently 11 EU member states, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, back the idea of a financial transaction tax as they want banks to take part of the responsibility and contribute more to the resolution of the euro debt crisis.

The European Commission also believes such a tax would crack down on financial speculation.

Meanwhile, the UK is against the proposed tax as, the country believes, additional taxation of the financial sector would push investors to other financial centers.

Without a common EU decision, initiators plan to launch the so-called enhanced cooperation, a procedure where a minimum of nine EU member states are allowed to establish advanced integration or cooperation in an area within EU structures but without the other members being involved.

Lithuania has not expressed its position yet.

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