By Simon Miller
The German government has extended an olive branch to the UK with a proposal of a bourse tax.
Although it remains committed to a financial transaction tax, Germany has suggested a bourse tax as a compromise to bring the UK onboard following its outright opposition to a Tobin tax across the European Union (EU).
German economy minister Philipp Roesler had suggested the bourse tax to overcome British opposition which German government spokesman Steffen Selbert called "sensible".
Speaking to reporters this morning, Selbert commented: "There is no change in the German government's position. The government welcomes the EU Commission's proposal because it encompasses our requests for a broad based tax with a low rate. We will fight for this proposal and for its adoption in all 27 European Union states."
He added: "[Roesler] is looking at all possibilities for getting the United Kingdom on board. We need to find out in talks whether a bourse tax could be a bridge for the United Kingdom, then Germany will discuss this with its European partners."
UK prime minister David Cameron walked out of a euro-summit in December after failing to get guarantees that the City would not be subjected to a Tobin tax.
German finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus said that talks on a financial transaction tax were ongoing and the eurozone was lookign to have the propsal settled by the end of the first quarter. If there was no agreement, then they would "have to look at what other ways" were possible.