Activists in over 35 countries united today in calling on European heads of state to back a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) that could raise hundreds of billions to tackle poverty and climate change.
The huge diversity of events, bringing together thousands of organisations, are happening across five continents. From the Great Britain to Ghana, from New Zealand to Nepal this demonstrates the global support for an FTT, popularly known in many countries as a ‘Robin Hood Tax’.
The reckless behaviour of the financial sector has a global impact – the economic crisis triggered by financial meltdown has pushed tens of millions of people around the world into poverty and jeopardised commitments to tackling climate change.
The ‘global day of action’ is designed to put pressure on European leaders meeting in Brussels on 23/24 June. Global political momentum for a FTT has been building – many countries including France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Greece are in support, as well as the President of the European Commission, Barroso. In March MEPs voted for a FTT (527 for, 127 against) and last week the French parliament voted unanimously in favour.
It comes as Europe negotiates another bailout for Greece – a bailout that will once again see taxpayers’ money go to cover banks’ bad debts.
Campaigners are calling for Europe to press ahead with a Robin Hood Tax before the G20 summit in November, chaired by France, where President Sarkozy has said he will attempt to create a coalition of countries willing to introduce an FTT.
Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of IndyACT said:
“This unprecedented action shows that people around the world want the rich banks to pay their fair share to poor societies.
“It is called the Robin Hood Tax, because it ensures a fair transfer of needed support from the rich to the poor. We need Europe to take the lead in this.”
Highlights of the ‘global day of action’ include:
· In Germany activists dressed as Robin Hoods rolled giant Euro coins down the street. ‘Angela Merkel’ received this money from Robin Hood as she prepared to depart for the European Council meeting.
· Nurses from across the US gathered in New York for a march and rally to stand up to Wall Street and demand the high rollers in the finance capital of the world pay to rebuild the economy of a nation they have done so much to destroy.
· In Norway a casino/stock exchange installation was set up alongside a “Robin Hood forest” in the centre of Oslo.
· In Brazil a new FTT video was launched entitled: ‘Where is the Money for HIV and AIDS’
· In Italy two flashmobs will enact casino bankers being blocked by several Robin Hoods who ask for ‘small change’ at two main railway stations in Rome
· In many African countries including: Ghana, Malawi, DRC, Egypt, Kenya and Mali campaigners dressed as Robin Hood and organised photo stunts with Global Day of Action banners alongside submitting lobby letters to their heads of state and EU delegations.
Notes to editors:
· Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Sarkozy of France continue to push for a European Financial Transaction Tax to raise money for development and climate change.
· President of the European Commission Barroso is now publically in favour of a FTT. An EU Impact Assessment on FTTs is due early July and the European Commission will present a formal legislative proposal after the summer.
· European Parliament voted through a 2nd motion in favour of a FTT on 9th June
For more information:
IndyACT – The League of Independent Activists
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