Pröll wants EU-wide financial transactions tax by 2011

People’s Party (ÖVP) Vice Chancellor Josef Pröll has appealed to European Union (EU) leaders to introduce a continental tax on financial transactions by next year.”It’s clear to me that we need a Europe-wide financial transactions tax. The sooner we agree on it the better. I’m in favour of this tax coming into force in 2011,” Pröll said after meeting his EU finance minister colleagues in Luxembourg today (Tues).Pröll claimed the introduction of such a tax – which has been intensively discussed by European leaders over the past few months – would be a “strong signal as a response to the current economic crisis.”The ÖVP boss further explained: “I don’t see a tax on financial transactions not as a federal issue.”This statement comes after Austrian Social Democratic (SPÖ) Chancellor Werner Faymann revealed he could imagine setting up such a tax only in Austria if EU leaders continue to delay the discussion process.Several leading business experts have warned such a move would put thousands of jobs at risk since many companies could withdraw their activities from Austria.Christoph Leitl, head of the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO), however recently surprisingly backed attempts to introduce the tax only in Austria, with other EU countries to follow.