(Brussels, 8 December 2011) The international alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE welcomes reform plans by German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy for faster implementation of financial regulation, a harmonized corporate tax base and a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in the Eurozone.
Ahead of the crucial anti-crisis summit of EU leaders today and tomorrow, Merkel and Sarkozy published a letter to EU President Herman Van Rompuy with these proposals as part of a broader package to tackle the Eurozone crisis.
Summing up CIDSE’s assessment, CIDSE Secretary General Bernd Nilles said:
“Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy’s European peers can no longer ignore the progressively louder call for a FTT being echoed from different parts of society. Public opinion is favourable, while civil society and both the Catholic and Protestant church call for the tax. It would be very difficult for any politician to justify a failure to respond to such strong public pressure to their constituency.”
According to CIDSE, legal reform to ensure faster progress in the areas of financial regulation, moving to a common corporate tax base and the adoption of a financial transaction tax is crucial for a prudent response to the malaises of the economy today.
“We remain concerned about how the discussion on responses to the Eurozone crisis is evolving. We see the effects of all the years of obsession with GDP growth all around us: over-heated economies, rising inequality, over-consumption that is taking its toll on the environment and deteriorating working conditions. More financial regulation, tax cooperation and a FTT are promising signs of breaking this obsession.
“These measures would also strengthen countries’ capacity to collect revenues domestically and raise urgently needed money to tackle poverty and climate change. The ongoing negotiations at the Climate Conference in Durban , for example, are stalling partly due to the lack of financial commitments,” Nilles added.
Contact: Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media & Communication Officer, +32 (0) 2 282 4073, +32(0)477068384
Notes to the editors
CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Its members share a common strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty and establish global justice. www.cidse.org
 The FTT is a key instrument to fund climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries and should be one of the sources to fill in the Green Climate Fund, which must be adopted in Durban. The EU should put in place such a tax in order to contribute to its fair share to climate finance and indicate the way to go to the international community. Read “The FTT for people and the planet – financing climate justice’, CIDSE recommendations (June 2011) EN - FR - IT - PT - ES