For Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, the European bank tax is actually a welcome undertaking. After all, there is widespread public appeal in the notion that European banks would make financial provisions for future shortfalls. And the primary goal of the planned €55 billion ($71 billion) restructuring fund is to protect taxpayers.
But Mr. Schäuble anticipates the project could cause a problem that might lead to some unpleasant debates. The sticking point is Germany’s own national bank tax, which has been in effect since 2011, and is not tax deductible. The reason: If it were deductible, German taxpayers would be indirectly paying the tax too.
Mr. Schäuble wanted this rule to apply throughout Europe as well. The only problem is that he is more or less isolated on this position. The parliamentary finance spokesman for Germany’s Left Party, Axel Troost, asked the finance ministry to specify which countries have rules similar to Germany’s.