Merkel backs idea of tax on City bonuses

BONN, Germany Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:00pm GMT

German chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during her visit of the fourth national IT-Summit in Stuttgart December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

German chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during her visit of the fourth national IT-Summit in Stuttgart December 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

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BONN, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday backed the idea of a one-off tax on bankers' bonuses that has been introduced by Britain, saying it would help the financial sector learn from its mistakes.

"The Germans always said that we want the banks and the people who work in these banks to share the burden resulting from this crisis. We should not place the burden squarely on the tax payers' shoulders," Merkel told reporters.

"We have committed ourselves to a transaction tax in the financial market. I think that would be a more sustainable solution to the problems," she said.

"But still, I think the idea that arose in the City of London ... to have a one-off tax on managers' bonuses is a charming idea that maybe will produce a learning effect," she said.

(Reporting by Timothy Heritage and Jan Strupczewski)

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