Economic and Financial Affairs Council:
Extracts from the doorsteps (Ireland, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Finland) and arrivals (Czech Republic, Denmark, Cyprus, France, Holland, Greece)
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 22/01/2013 First transmission: 22/01/2013
The Council will be updated as regards the introduction of a financial transaction tax in a number of member states, and may be called on to adopt a decision.
It will discuss the Commission's annual growth survey, with a view to adopting conclusions next month.
The Irish presidency's work programme and a Commission action plan on tax fraud are amongst the other agenda items.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Miroslav Kalousek, Czech Minister for Finance
||Margrethe Vestager, Danish Minister for Economics and the Interior
||Vasos Shiarly,Cyprus Minister of Finance (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance and President in office of the Council (in English) saying that: It'll be the first time I'll be chairing an ECOFIN and the most substantial issue on the agenda is the Financial Transaction Tax, but that's more about the process than about the elements of the FTT. Under the Treaty there's a mechanism called enhanced cooperation and we understand from conversations in the COREPER during the week that we're moving the FTT on to the next stage so I'll be looking for an agreement on the process and then as the Commission prepares the detailed paper the debate will move on to the contents.
||SOUNDBITE by Luis De Guindos, Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness (In Spanish) saying that: Spain's approach is simple, we believe that our country is under-represented in EU institutions. As was the case with the European Central Bank Governing Council, what Spain has made is not vote or support the appointment of the new president of the Eurogroup. It is an approach that has nothing to do with personal problems. The Dutch minister seems a correct person, but basically it is a matter of institutional approach. Once chosen, as it can not be otherwise, Spain will cooperate in a friendly next and because we're all in the same boat with the new presidency.
||Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Maria Fekter, Austrian Federal Minister for Finance (In German)
||SOUNDBITE by Janez Sustersic, Slovenian Minister for Finance (In English) saying that: think today is not a very big agenda, we'll see about FTT but it will be the agenda, but otherwise I think is more how speaking business programme for the Presidency, so it is not a very big agenda today. We've had the Eurogroup yesterday, the things are improving, the countries are doing what they should be doing including Greece, so let's hope for the better.
||Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister for Finance
||SOUNDBITE by Jutta Pauliina Urpilainen, Finnish Minister for Finance (In English) saying that: I think that the most important thing is to the general economical situation now In Europe. How do we get more jobs and economical growth in Europe? And then the other important issue for me is the FTT (Financial Transaction Tax). And then the third issue is the commission proposal against tax invasion and tax heavens.
||Giannis Stournaras, Greek Minister of Finance