European stock markets opened on Wednesday awaiting details of a new EU-wide financial transaction tax due to be announced in Strasbourg.
The Financial Times newspaper claims to have seen a draft European Commission impact assessment of the planned levy pointing to the dangers of driving business away from the EU, raising costs and damaging the economies of member states.
But the European Commission, whose president José Manuel Barroso is due to announce the tax at the European Parliament, says it is viable.
The Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, says “a tax on financial transactions is economically bearable for the services, it will bring in a lot of money, and politically, it’s the right thing to do.”
European officials argue that some built-in aspects of the plan will soften any blow on economic output because money raised will be invested to stimulate economic growth.