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Financial Transaction Tax Urged By German Opposition Ahead Of EU Austerity Treaty

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's opposition leader says Chancellor Angela Merkel's government must introduce a financial transaction tax to secure his center-left party's support for the European Union's fiscal treaty.

Merkel's center-right government needs opposition parties to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament for the ratification of the EU treaty enshrining fiscal discipline.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Sunday paper Bild am Sonntag his party will only back the treaty "if there will be a clear Cabinet decision to tax financial markets."

Merkel backs such a tax in principle but has cautioned that it must be introduced Europe-wide to have real impact.

The opposition also demands that a set of measures promoting growth and job creation in Europe's ailing southern nations be added to the treaty.

Both sides will meet June 13 to forge an agreement.

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