France demands EU crackdown on extremist finances

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — France says the European Union is moving too slowly with efforts to cut off finances to extremist groups, a year after the attacks in Paris on a satirical newspaper and kosher supermarket.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Friday that “we can no longer wait day after day for decisions to be taken.” He spoke ahead of talks with EU counterparts in Brussels.

He demanded that the EU’s executive Commission lay out by next month “a very precise vision of what measures must be taken” to deprive extremists of funds.

France wants the EU to boost intelligence-sharing among finance experts, tighten the rules on pre-paid cash cards and introduce tougher controls over the use of virtual currencies like bitcoins.