LUXEMBOURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - - European Union financeministers met in Luxembourg on Tuesday to discuss issuesincluding plans for a financial transactions tax among a coregroup of countries and progress towards setting up a singlebanking supervisor for the region.
Following are comments from ministers and other officialsahead of the talks:
AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER MARIA FEKTER On Spain
"The plan for the single banking supervision has nothing todo with the current bank rescue package for Spain. This is ontrack. At the next summit the council will get an update andwill then take a decision, so that I expect that the money forthe Spanish banks can be paid out in the next couple of weeks."
On banking union
"We (Austria) are very critical of the European depositguarantee scheme and enormously critical of the collectivisationof debt. We are too small a country to recover and to then takeon the burden from a deadbeat. That I would rather like toavoid."
GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE On the financial transaction tax
"It wasn't a surprise to me that 11 member states aresupporting cooperation on a financial transaction tax."
"A substantial part of reform has been implemented. Whetherit's actually a sufficient part, is the troika's job to decide.But Greece is saying itself it hasn't implemented them all. It'scompletely clear that before every decision Greece must haveimplemented reforms so that the troika can say 'yes, that's thecase'. Then you will find that there's additional need to act.That's what's being discussed, that an additional gap needs tobe closed with additional measures.
"If you had been in the eurogroup meeting yesterday, youwould have heard how the member states reacted and that therewas broad agreement that the programme has to be implemented andï¿½ when certain measures have not been implemented, thenadditional measures have to be agreed to fulfill them."
SPANISH FINANCE MINISTER LUIS DE GUINDOS
"I greatly respect the IMF forecasts ... but they are notwritten in stone."
"I don't think the Spanish government has been excessivelyoptimistic regarding its (economic) forecasts for this year."
Asked if the Eurogroup asked Spain for more cuts on Mondaynight:
"No, absolutely not."
"There was a positive evaluation (by euro zone financeministers of Spain's 2013 budget), of Spain's economic policyand the need to carry out a fiscal adjustment that is sensitive,sensible to the economic situation in the country.
"The only thing I can say (about the IMF's forecasts forSpain) is to try to avoid that they happen.
"Logically, we are working on the basis that such negativeforecasts are not met.
"More than the projection, which is important, is to see howwe are closing the Spanish macroeconomic imbalances."
Asked if Spain will ask for a bailout: "At this moment, theSpanish government will continue with reforms, continue withcutting the public deficit and after that all the doubts thatexist about the future of the euro zone will dissipate."
DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER JAN KEES DE JAGER
"The Netherlands is not in favour of a financialtransactions tax. We are even reluctant about introduction inother countries."
On banking union:
"We should do it step by step with proved, effectivesupervision, so not fixed on the calendar, but fixed on thesubstance."
AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER MARIA FEKTER On financial transactions tax:
"We will have a discussion and we will try to convinceothers, because I think this is a stabilising measure and itwould create funds for joined European safety nets, such as forexample the deposit insurance scheme or the resolution of banksto reduce debt. I don't want to ask the Austrian tax payer formoney for that, nobody in Austria would understand if we had tosecure the deposits of the Cypriots. There should be a newsource (of funds) and this could be a good argument."
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Annika Breidthardt, Eva Kuehnen andRobin Emmott in Luxembourg)
Keywords: EU TAX/