France's finance minister said on Thursday that a European Commission proposal for a financial transaction tax must be improved so it can be implemented in the European Union as a whole and not discourage investors.
The tax, proposed by the EU executive as a way of making banks contribute to the cost of cleaning up after the financial crisis, resurrects an idea first conceived by U.S. economist James Tobin more than 40 years ago.
"To get to this tax we must be pragmatic and realistic," Pierre Moscovici told a financial conference. "The European Commission's proposal seems to me to be excessive and risks being counter-productive."
Having failed to persuade all 27 EU member states to sign up, eleven countries led by France and Germany have agreed to press ahead with the levy.