Greens have welcomed Europe's top court decision to reject the UK's challenge to the introduction of an EU financial transactions tax (FTT). The decision is a blow to the Coalition Government and their friends in the City and a victory for people across Europe.

Coalition Government Ministers have said FTT, a small levy on financial transactions designed to raise funds for public services while 'cooling down' the pace of the financial speculation, will damage British firms.

The Green Party of England and Wales, part of the Green group in the European Parliament which has been instrumental in bringing about the FTT, says that the redistribution of the £20bn a FTT will potentially raise, can help create a more just and equal society.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said the UK could not block the levy on trades on the grounds that it would affect London's banks. The FTT will be adopted by 11 EU states, but not by the UK.

Keith Taylor, a Green Party Member of the European Parliament, said:

Today’s decision by the European Court of Justice is the right one. The financial transaction tax, which will redistribute money from the world of finance to those in need, is unsurprisingly opposed by the Government and their friends in the banks.

London City by Joe D via Wikimedia Commons

London City by Joe D

This defeat for the City of London, and significant win for campaigners, takes us one step closer to introducing the financial transaction tax in Europe. It’s now time for the British Government to wake up to the fact that this tax is popular, redistributive and fair and should be introduced to the UK too.”

Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP, said:

I welcome this ruling, which takes us down the road of delivering the more people-centred banking industry the Greens in Brussels are working hard for.

The Government here likes to pretend this is about the UK's freedom from Brussels, but really it's about the banks' freedom from democracy.

This ruling is really about whether or not we want to support speculative casino banking with billions of pounds of public money when the bankers get it wrong. In 2008, they got things spectacularly wrong, and we are all still paying the price with recession and government austerity measures."

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