|Robin Hood tax debate lands on new Eurogroup chief’s plate
All EU finance ministers, including new Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, met today amid a new warning about Spain's finances and 11 euro zone states won permission to work on a new tax on financial transactions, also called the Robin Hood tax.
Dijsselbloem's sole candidacy to head the inner group of euro zone finance ministers was opposed by Spain in the overnight vote, and Madrid will remain a thorny question throughout the Dutchman's 30-month mandate, AFP reports.
Spain, a member of the euro zone, is now Europe's youth unemployment black spot, with a rate of about 57 percent. And the European Commission warned the country's 2012 and 2013 public deficit targets are again veering off target.
Spain was supposed to keep the 2012 figure to within 6.3 percent of gross domestic product, but a Commission report said this would “probably not’’ be achieved.
Spanish Finance Minister Luis De Guindos said the “complaint’’ over Dijsselbloem was simple, saying Madrid is “under represented in the European institutions'' and that this was “unjust.’’
Almost all the top euro zone posts are now held by nationals of Triple A-rated members.
Dijsselbloem faced scrutiny at talks between all 27 European Union finance ministers with the Netherlands sitting out the moves to launch a tax on financial transactions.
The ministers gave the 11 a green light just to continue work on the scheme, not to legislate for it.
A diplomat said that Britain was relaxed about the issue, even though it has long argued forcibly against the tax.
Firm backer and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Dijsselbloem's nomination was ``a good decision'', while European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said that all 17 eurozone national leaders were fully behind Dijsselbloem.