Chirac pushes world tax to cut poverty
PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac called on the international community Wednesday to make a "big step" to helping poor countries develop economically, notably by considering his idea for a world tax.
“France is demanding an awareness and big step by the international community in the area of development aid,” Chirac was quoted by his spokesman as telling a cabinet meeting before leaving on an Africa trip that would take him to Senegal and Congo.
The French leader underlined a goal of the United Nations fixed five years ago to cut global poverty in half by 2015.
He said that, although France had greatly increased aid in the past two years, “progress in public development aid in the world is far from satisfactory to allow the goal to be met”, according to spokesman Jean-Francois Cope.
To achieve the aim, “the only way today is to manage to put in place a sort of international tax, as France has suggested”, Chirac said.
The French leader pushed his idea of a levy on international transactions to fund development aid at a UN meeting last September with the leaders of Brazil, Spain and Chile, and in a video address a week ago to a room of sceptical policy-makers and economic experts at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
The US government in particular has signalled opposition to the idea.
Subject: French News