The Toronto Star (June 4):
Is the shine coming off Stephen Harper’s summit spotlight?
As with the economy, a host of other issues appear to have conspired to take the shine off Harper’s role at the upcoming summits in Huntsville and Toronto.
Despite trying for months to defuse the hot-button issue of a global bank tax, Harper still finds himself at odds with Obama, Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. …
Le Devoir (translated from June 5):
Harper returned empty handed from Europe
After London, Paris refused to waive a tax on banks
Paris – If the objective of the whirlwind trip that Stephen Harper was finished yesterday in Europe to persuade London and Paris to abandon their proposed tax on banks, it now appears as a failure. Like his British counterpart had done the day before, the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, said yesterday that France had no intention of abandoning its intention to tax the banking business in order to establish a fund for emergencies. …
Back from 48h to London and Paris, Harper is so isolated on this crucial issue because the proposed tax on banks is supported by both the European Union, the United States and the International Monetary Fund. The project is also likely to take shape fairly quickly in Europe.
So about that failure of the PM to fend off a global bank tax?
Canwest and Reuters (June 5th):
Finance ministers scrap plans for global bank tax
In the face of fierce opposition from Canada and several other countries, finance ministers from the Group of 20 have axed plans for a global bank tax
, giving individual nations more freedom to decide how to make banks pay for any future bailouts.
The ministers ended a two-day meeting in Busan, South Korea, on Saturday that was held to review progress on a string of initiatives aimed at making the financial system safer in the wake of the last year’s global collapse.
A bank tax, a measure pushed for by the United States, Britain and France, would have imposed a levy on all global financial institutions. All three countries spent billions of taxpayer dollars to rescue their largest financial institutions after the fiscal crisis of late 2008.