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UK and Germany remain divided on tax

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 02:24

Nov. 18 - Following talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron remain divided on how to solve the euro zone debt crisis. Kirsty Basset reports

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The leaders of Germany and Britain tried to accentuate the positive. British Prime Minister David Cameron. (SOUNDBITE)(English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON SAYING: "There are many things where we are in absolute agreement. On the importance of the single market, on the need for budget discipline. On the need for all countries to deal with their debts and their deficits." But following talks, it was clear that differences remain on tackling the euro zone debt crisis. On the contentious issue of a tax on European financial transactions - favoured by Berlin but not London - neither party gave ground. Britain believes a Europe-wide rollout of the tax would be catastrophic - unless countries such as the US and China also participated. German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We have agreed that on a global basis both countries would introduce it immediately. In Europe, no progress has been made and that is why we need to work on this, but we think that it needs to be done." On the euro zone crisis, Cameron called for "decisive action" while Merkel was more cautious, saying a 'step by step' approach is needed. But it's slow progress which has left European Central Bank President Mario Draghi exasperated. Amid growing calls this week for the Bank to take more action to stem the crisis, Draghi turned the tables, telling EU leaders to act fast to get the bloc's rescue fund up and running. SOUNDBITE: (English) PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, MARIO DRAGHI, SAYING: "We are four months after the summit which decided to make the full EFSF guarantee volume available and we are four weeks after the summit that agreed on leveraging of the resources by a factor of up to four or five and that declared the EFSF would be fully operational and that all its tools would be used in an effective way to ensure financial stability in the euro area. Where is the implementation of these long-standing decisions?" European shares extended losses on Friday afternoon, with traders pointing to Cameron and Merkel's conflicting signals. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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UK and Germany remain divided on tax

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 02:24