Cameron and Hollande: PM warns Hollande over tax plan
Published: 18th May 2012 23:18:08
UK PM David Cameron has warned French President Francois Hollande that Britain will not accept a Europe-wide tax on financial transactions.
Speaking in Washington ahead of their first meeting since Mr Hollande's election earlier this month, Mr Cameron said it was not a "sensible measure".
The transaction tax was a key part of Mr Hollande's election campaign.
Downing Street played down suggestions of a rift between the two leaders, who met ahead of the G8 summit in the US.
It said the talks were "not awkward" despite Mr Cameron's backing for Mr Hollande's opponent in the French presidential election.
Speaking ahead of their meeting at the British Ambassador's residence, the prime minister said the eurozone leaders needed to take "decisive action" to resolve the crisis over Greece.
But he also made clear his opposition to Mr Hollande's demands for an EU tax on financial transactions.
He said: "We are not going to get growth in Europe or in Britain by introducing a new tax that would actually hit people as well as institutions.
"I do not think it is a sensible measure. I will not support it."
Following the meeting, Mr Cameron reiterated their commitment to tackling their deficits while promoting growth.
"We both want to see stability in international markets, we both want to see countries deal with their deficits and we both want to see economic growth," he said.
He said the two leaders had "reaffirmed the importance of the strong relationship between Britain and France".
Mr Hollande said they must consider "any possible option" at the forthcoming European Council to rebuild their economies without adding to their deficits.
"We need to continue improving our public accounts while restoring growth. We will consider every possible option," he said.
He stressed that he hoped Greece would be able to stay in eurozone.
"We would like Greece to remain in the eurozone but it is for the Greek people to answer that question," he said.
"But my response is that we should do everything to ensure they answer 'Yes' to that question."
Mr Hollande confirmed that he would be withdrawing French combat troops from Afghanistan this year in line with his election promise, although he said they would continue in a training role.
Mr Cameron said that he had invited Mr Hollande to visit London to discuss issues on their joint agenda, and to meet the Queen.
He said they had also discussed Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, and said the two countries would continue to work together "strongly".
Mr Hollande referred jokingly to Mr Cameron's refusal to see him during the election campaign, saying: "I couldn't meet David Cameron before the elections - I am all the happier to meet him afterwards."
Labour leader Ed Miliband - who met Mr Hollande in London during France's presidential campaign while Mr Cameron backed Nicolas Sarkozy - said Mr Cameron could not help to solve the crisis in the eurozone "because he is such a central part of the problem."
Writing in Saturday's Financial Times, Mr Miliband accuses Mr Cameron of "crass arrogance" which "makes you wonder on what planet the prime minister is living."
The Labour leader added that "Italy aside, Mr Cameron is the only leader at the G8 who has led his country into a double dip recession" and claims his actions have led to "recovery turning into recession, no growth for almost two years, a million young people out of work and borrowing forecast to be £150bn higher than planned as a result."
World leaders are meeting to discuss the eurozone crisis, global trade and foreign policy at the G8 summit.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Cameron and Hollande: PM warns Hollande over tax plan [Online] (Updated 18th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429581/Cameron-and-Hollande-PM-warns-Hollande-over-tax-plan [Accessed 22nd Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com