Over 1000 PES Member Party MP’s sign up for European Tax on speculation in overwhelming show of support

“Just think of how many millions of ordinary Europeans these 1000 Socialist and Social Democrat MPs represent and compare that to the handful of financial market speculators who are causing so much damage”

(21 June, 2011, Brussels) The Party of European Socialists (PES) can announce that over 1000 Socialist and Social Democratic Members of National Parliaments have signed up to a call for a European Tax on speculation. “As a way of showing just how clear the difference is between a Conservative Europe and a Progressive Europe, there could not be a better, clearer and stronger message”. So said PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. The action comes as events are being prepared across Europe on the eve of the Action Day for a European Tax on Speculation.

He continued; “To have 1000 elected representatives from PES Member Parties from all over Europe working together towards a European Tax on Speculation is a stunning achievement. It shows the ability of the PES to coordinate, but more importantly it shows the willingness of progressive representatives to fight for ordinary Europeans’ interests”.

The Tax of 0.05% would be targeted at professional speculators who exploit high frequency trading methods to destabilize currencies and even countries. It is predicted that such a tax would generate 200 billion euros.

Mr. Rasmussen, who has long been recognised for his work to regulate an out of control financial market, through initiatives such as the AIFM directive, concluded by contrasting the number of people the 1000 MPs represent to those in the financial markets. “Just think of how many millions of ordinary Europeans these 1000 MPs represent and compare that to the handful of financial market speculators who are causing so much damage”. He noted that the financial services industry had recently set up the European Principal Traders Association to try to stop the tax on speculation. There are 12 organisations behind this association. “The interests of 12 speculators versus the elected representatives of millions of Europeans. I know which side the European Commission should be on”.

In early July, the European Commission is scheduled to table recommendations to the European Council for taxation in the European financial sector.

The PES Leaders’ pre-European Council meeting this Thursday (23 June) will make the signing of this appeal by the 1000 MPs a central point of their discussion.The full text of the appeal and a full list of PES parliamentarians will be available at the leaders’ meeting. Details here.