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Lithuania to Adopt EU Financial Transaction Tax

Lithuania will become the twelfth European Union nation to adopt a cross-border financial transaction tax, the Baltic state's new Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said on Friday.

Butkevicius told reporters that he had assured visiting EU tax commissioner Algirdas Semeta that his center-left government would make a formal move in January.

"The government will discuss it at the beginning of January, and I believe 100 percent it will agree," said Butkevicius, who was sworn in on Thursday after his party defeated that of the previous center-right government in October's general election.

Semeta, who hails from Lithuania, welcomed the move, saying after his meeting with Butkevicius that the new tax "would help to restore trust between the society and the financial sector".

Eleven of the EU's 27 member states have so far agreed to the new tax.

It was originally an EU-wide proposal, partly intended to raise new funds and partly to put a cap on banking sector excesses blamed for the global financial crisis of 2008 which led to the debt crisis.

Faced with opposition, the idea was then dropped, but 11 states led by France and Germany have returned to the charge, seeking to implement it on their own.

With the backing of more than a third of the 27 EU member nations, the measure can be implemented under an "enhanced cooperation" procedure but it would still need the blessing of the EU member states who will not be adopting it to be effective.

Source: Agence France Presse


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