Germany, France launch drive for EU finance tax

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, speaks during a reception to celebrate his 70th birthday in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Pool)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Finance Ministry says Berlin and Paris have jointly appealed to the European Union's executive to prepare the introduction of a tax on financial transactions.

The proposal has failed to secure a majority within the 27-nation EU. Germany and France are pressing for its introduction by the legal detour of so-called enhanced cooperation, which would allow a group of at least nine countries to go ahead with it.

The ministry said Friday that Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble and French counterpart Pierre Moscovici also wrote a letter to their European counterparts urging them to join their appeal to the European Commission.

At a June meeting of finance ministers 10 nations, among them Italy and Spain, backed the proposal. Britain, which has the continent's biggest financial industry, opposes the plan.