Robin Hood battles bankers in Brussels over tax on rich for poor

25 March 2010

Brussels, March 25 - Friends of the Earth Europe and others staged a live struggle today as Robin Hood and his band of merry men (and women!) tried to wrest money from selfish bankers, to help finance aid for the climate and the poor.

The stunt took place as European Heads of State gathered gathered for their Spring Summit where they will address the continuing climate and economic crises, agree a new strategy for jobs and growth, examine financial market regulation ahead of the next G20 meeting and assess the state of play in the follow-up to the Copenhagen Conference on climate change.

Friends of the Earth Europe and other campaign groups are calling for the European Union to introduce of a financial transaction tax (FTT), also known as a 'Robin Hood Tax'. The 'Robin Hood Tax' is a tiny tax on financial market transactions. Even at very low rates of 0.05% or less, this tax could raise hundreds of billions of euros annually for domestic and international projects and would cost governments and ordinary citizens nothing. At the same time, it would help reducing high-speculative transactions that caused the current crisis.

Over the past weeks, innovative sources of finance, including the financial transaction tax (FTT), have gained support at all levels of EU institutions, including from European finance ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament, which just passed a resolution supporting the FTT.

The symbolic tug-of-war was coordinated by a broad coalition of environmental, social, health, faith and trade-based citizens' organisations - including Friends of the Earth Europe, the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Oxfam International, Solidar, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), CIDSE and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

Its now up to Heads of State to decide which way the tug-of-war will go – will the money go to people and the planet, or will it remain in the pockets of bankers and speculators, the ones who caused the current financial crisis in the first place?

You can help to urge the EU and the heads of states of the G20 to introduce the Robin Hood Tax. Sign our global petition at: