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King Says EU Central Banks Are Skeptical of Transaction Tax

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said Europe’s planned financial transactions tax is regarded with “enormous” skepticism by central banks in the region.

King, speaking in his final Inflation Report press conference before he retires in July, said the levy means “very different things to different people,” and more time would be needed before any measure is designed.

“I don’t think it’s likely to help very much and indeed the thing I find most striking is that within Europe I can’t find anyone within the central banking community who thinks it’s a good idea,” he said today. “I don’t think we’re remotely close to getting a clear view on any of this.”

At least eleven EU nations plan to introduce the levy, which was criticized by Prime Minister David Cameron last week as a “mistake for Europe.” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters in London then that there was still a “long way to go” before a decision was made.

“I can understand why at least some politicians feel reluctant to express their true skepticism about the merits of this idea in public,” King said. “But I can assure you, I hear an enormous amount of skepticism even from quarters that are alleged to be behind it.”

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