Merkel’s Germany Pushes for EU-Wide Transactions Tax

A statue holding the symbol of the Euro, the European common currency, stands in front of the European Parliament building on August 16 and 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.
Mark Renders/Getty

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Germany’s finance minister is urging bolder steps to strengthen the euro currency union by setting up a fund to help countries hard hit by unemployment and by laying the foundations of an EU-wide tax system.

Olaf Scholz made his proposals in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine made public Saturday. The ideas take a step toward those of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for wide-ranging actions to strengthen the European Union – and surpass more modest proposals from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Scholz advocated a eurozone-wide “reinsurance” fund that would loan money to countries that are hit by an economic crisis and have higher jobless benefit costs. He also called for a tax on financial transactions as the beginning of an EU-wide system of tax collection.

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