Recently, a series of unexpected Robin-related events have taken place over in Europe - in the Vatican! Robin’s got friends in high places...
Firstly, French MEP and dedicated climate campaigner, Pierre Larrouturou, who did 18 days of hunger strike in October to demand a Robin Hood Tax, asked for an audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis to push for this tiny banking tax worth €50 billion for health, jobs and climate action!
He explained the urgency - which is that Portugal, who currently hold the EU presidency, are leading the fight, pushing for agreement of the Financial Transactions Tax as one of their main objectives. (We reported on a leak of their intentions. Now it’s reality.) But, Portugal’s modest proposal is currently being blocked by Germany and France.
Pierre knew that getting a meeting with the Pope was a long shot. But he also knew that the Papal support could make the difference in securing a Robin Hood Tax deal for health, jobs and climate action.
They couldn’t believe it, when in under 2 weeks an in-person meeting was secured.
But then the second unexpected event happened the day before the precious meeting was to take place. When the COVID test Pierre needed to take to meet the Pope turned out to be positive, the audience was thrown into doubt.
But the occasion wasn’t cancelled.
Much to his surprise, his aide Michel, was honoured to step in at the last moment, attending the meeting in the Vatican library with three prominent French climate activists, and the director of the film ‘Tomorrow’ /’Demain’, producing tons of French media coverage.
Here they are with his holiness:
As Pope Francis said: "You never come out of a crisis the same. We come out better or worse. Time for a change. Time to choose."
Getting this meeting is a huge achievement for the campaign, an unforgettable experience for Michel and a massive opportunity to reignite the conversation on the Robin Hood Tax in France and Germany.
People are out of patience. Their leaders have been dragging their feet on the FTT for too long. The German and French leaders Merkel and Macron need to act without delay and throw their weight behind Portugal’s courageous efforts to get the Robin Hood Tax deal over the line NOW.
After this papal meeting...
Let’s keep the pressure on!
Today Thursday 24th, and tomorrow, Friday, it's the European Council Meeting where all 27 heads of state in the EU meet.
Just a signal from either Macron and Merkel to the Portuguese presidency could get negotiations for the European Robin Hood Tax back on track.
For most of us here in the UK, let's act in solidarity with our fellow Robin Hood supporters in Europe and join the twitter storm now, by either:
1. demanding a €50 billion EU Robin Hood Tax
2. tagging @RegSprecher (on behalf of Angela Merkel) and @EmmanuelMacron and
3. using the hashtag #RobinforEU
or, simply RT us here!
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