EU finance ministers failed to reach an agreement on a tax on financial transactions, giving banks a reprieve. "It's difficult to see how in practice a financial-transaction tax would work," said UK Chancellor George Osborne. "It's been discussed for many decades past and I suspect it will be for many decades to come." Germany, with support from France, called for such a tax to replenish government coffers. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said while the tax is "technically doable, it's practically difficult".