Actors lobby for financial tax in short film

Prominent European actors are pressing the European Union to push forward with a financial transaction tax in a new short film.

The film – produced in part by Oxfam – is set a decade in the future, and illustrates what supporters say would be the benefits of the so-called “Robin Hood tax” on countries like France, Germany and Spain.

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It stars, among others, Andrew Lincoln of the AMC show “The Walking Dead” and Bill Nighy of “Love, Actually,” and was directed by David Yates, who also directed four Harry Potter films.

"We look back on it as a profoundly important moment. It's been good for business, and it's brought billions for jobs in Europe,” the German actress Heike Makatsch says about the predicted benefits in the film.

Great Britain is chided in the film for not joining in European efforts to enact a financial transactions tax, which supporters say would bring badly needed revenues to help countries beef up public services and even battle climate change.

Generally speaking, a financial transaction tax would place a small levy on each trade of a stock, bond or derivative, and could raise billions of dollars a year.

"After six years of shaky recovery and decreasing living standards, it is time for our leaders to be ambitious and act in the interest of the people and the planet,” Lincoln said in a statement.

Finance ministers from the 11 European countries who have shown interest in a transactions tax – which also include Greece, Italy and Portugal – are scheduled to meet this week to discuss how to move forward.

German and French officials are also expected to meet this week about the tax, which European officials could end up scaling back a proposal amid fears that the tax could hurt the economic recovery. Besides Britain, the Netherlands and Ireland are among the opponents of a transaction tax in Europe.

The financial transactions tax has gained far less traction in the United States, though some liberal Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation. 

The Spanish actor Javier Cámara and the French actress Clémence Poésy also star in the short film.