Chirac calls for air ticket tax ahead of G8 meet

20th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 20 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Monday urged the world's richest nations to consider a tax on international air tickets to fund the fights against Aids and poverty in Africa.

PARIS, June 20 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Monday urged the world's richest nations to consider a tax on international air tickets to fund the fights against Aids and poverty in Africa.

Speaking at a Paris conference on micro-finance, Chirac said France and Germany would be pushing for the measure at a G8 summit to take place July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland.

"It's at Gleneagles that the suceess or failure of the United Nations summit on realising the Millennium goals will be decided," he said, referring to a UN initiative to reduce global poverty.  

While he hailed the June agreement by creditor nations to cancel the multilateral debt of the world's poorest 18 countries, he said "that is not enough".

"That is why Germany and France are proposing the G8 support the launch of the first international solidarity levy on plane tickets to finance the fight against Aids and big pandemics," he said.

The European Union last week approved the idea of a small tax on domestic flights within Europe to raise at least EUR 560 million a year for development.

Chirac hopes to see that measure widened through an acceptance by all the G8, which comprises Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

The French president also said Africa should be permitted to protect its markets while adapting to globalised trade, and notably called for its cotton to be sold abroad in line with a World Trade Organisation judgement that ruled against the United States.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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