Eleven countries, including Germany, France and Spain, want to introduce a financial transaction tax, which aims to raise billions of euros from the financial services industry and deter speculative trading. But lawyers from the European Union said the tax would breach the rights of eurozone countries that don’t plan to adopt the tax. The issue is a provision that would impose the levy even if only one of the parties in a transaction is in a country where the law is in effect. Lawyers argue the provision would be “discriminatory,” according to media reports citing the document from the EU council legal service. Related: 11 EU to introduce tax on stock trades The non-binding legal opinion is the latest in a series of obstacles to delay the tax. Some cash-strapped governments in Europe are eager for new revenue sources. There is also popular pressure to make the banking industry pay a bigger share of the cost of dealing with the financial crisis. Yet most of the EU’s 28 member states oppose the tax. The most notable critic has been the U.K., Europe’s leading financial center, saying it would hurt competition, investment and growth. In April, the U.K. government launched a legal challenge to the law amid rising hostility from the financial services industry. Related: Markets warn G20 of EU trading tax risk Nigel Green, chief executive of the deVere Group, a financial consultancy, hopes the lawyers’ opinion will help scrap the proposal for the “reckless” tax.
The village’s narrow streets start at the cliff-top castle and go winding down between quaint cottages, cave hotels, and hearty taverns before arriving at a peaceful stream complete with a pebble beach and small waterfall. It’s the definition of an idyllic European village. (Photo by Sala2500) Click here to see more photos of Alcala de Jucar Castelmezzano, Italy – Pressed tight against the towering Lucan Dolomites, Castelmezzano is one of the most emblematic villages in Italy’s Basilicata region. It’s a popular getaway for local tourists looking to escape the controlled chaos that is city life and spend their time wandering the village’s legendary hiking trails, enjoying the hearty cuisine in the farm-restaurants of the valley below, and enjoying the one-of-a-kind views. Half the fun of Castelmezzano, though, is getting there, and travelers suggest renting a car to enjoy the viewpoints and villages along the scenic highway. (Photo by Agostino) Click here to see more photos of Castelmezzano Monsanto, Portugal – The small Portuguese village is truly a wonder to behold, both in terms of its layout and history. Crowned by a Templar castle, the fairytale-like village rambles down a boulder-strewn hill, with homes, restaurants, and shops snatching up every available square inch between the colossal rocks and sometimes even incorporating them into the architecture as a ceiling or a wall. Monsanto is also known as “the most Portuguese town in Portugal,” a testament to its rich historical and culinary heritage. (Photo by Latalbar) Click here to see more photos of Monsanto Rocamadour, France – Rocamadour is, in many travelers’ opinions, one of the top destinations of all of France, not surprising, given the village’s jaw-dropping location against a massive cliff wall over the Alzhou River. Rocamadour, however, doesn’t owe its fame to just its striking setting; it’s been a place of pilgrimage for centuries, with devotees flocking to see the legendary Black Madonna of Rocamadour, and, more recently, with curious foodies eager to try the village’s famous goat cheese. (Photo by Jennifer Lavoura) Click here to see more photos of Rocamadour Sorano, Italy – In a region as enchanting as Tuscany, picking the most beautiful village can be a tricky affair; selecting the most striking village, however, is easy: Sorano. This cliff-top settlement has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BC and visitors exploring its streets can easily stumble across roads, tombs, and walls dating back to the ancient Etruscans and Romans, or visit the Orsini Fortress and its labyrinth of underground tunnels.