A total of 11 eurozone member states backed the proposal of the European Commission to impose taxes on financial transactions, European Union (EU) Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said Tuesday.
"Now it is the time for swift progress. I already have seven letters (of support) from Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Portugal and Greece. And today we got clear assurances that Italy, Spain, Estonia and Slovakia will send theirs very soon," Semeta told reporters.
The initiative, also called "Tobin tax," was pushed hard by Germany and France but strongly opposed by Britain, Sweden, Ireland and Luxembourg. Semeta has said that he would start the legislative process as soon as he receives nine official requests.
"The financial transitions tax is about fair taxation, smart taxation and a stronger, more coordinated approach to taxing the financial sector. These objectives remain valid and fully achievable," Semeta said at a press conference after a meeting of EU finance ministers.
At a meeting in June, the EU's 27 finance ministers agreed that "enhanced cooperation" was the only option left open because it would be impossible to get unanimous support from all member states.
Any proposal for enhanced cooperation from the Commission would have to be approved by a qualified majority of all 27 member states before work to shape the legislation could begin.
The "Tobin tax," named after Nobel-prize winning U.S. economist James Tobin, was first proposed by the economist in 1972 as a way of reducing financial market volatility.
The European Commission proposed an imposition of a tax of 0.1 percent on trades in shares and bonds, and a 0.01 percent tax on derivatives trading. The proceeds could go towards the central EU budget.