European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

EFFAT calls for a robust Financial Transaction Tax in open letter to European leaders


Last week, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), together with over 300 other civil society organisations, wrote to European leaders and top ministers ahead of a Franco-German Summit on the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in Paris on 19 February.

In response to the financial lobby’s growing opposition to the FTT, the letters urge President Hollande (France), Chancellor Merkel (Germany), Prime Minister Letta (Italy), President Rajoy (Spain), Chancellor Faymann (Austria) and others to:

  • implement the broadest possible FTT that includes derivatives (whether for speculative or non-speculative purposes)
  • use the revenues to protect jobs and public services and deliver on international commitments to ensure sustainable development, health and combat climate change.

“A broad-based tax covering shares, bonds, derivatives and (the extremely speculative) high frequency trading would reduce the volume of financial speculation whilst generating significant revenue: €34 billion per year according to the Commission.”

“These funds are vital to protect jobs and public services and to deliver on French and European commitments for the global fight against poverty, AIDS and global warming,” states the letters.

In response to the global banking crisis, governments around the world have been stabilising and protecting their economies and jobs with taxpayer funds, to the detriment of citizens and public debt.

EFFAT supports the strongest possible FTT so that the financial sector can share in the cost of rebuilding the European economy and in meeting international commitments.

“A comprehensive FTT will help address the imbalance by which European workers are paying the price for a crisis they did not cause through increasingly precarious employment, particularly in the food, agriculture and tourism sectors,” said EFFAT General Secretary Harald Wiedenhofer.

“The banks and speculators must also pay their share,” he said.

Media contact: Dominique Mitchell +32 490 56 94 05 or ">

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.