French President Chirac Proposes International Financial Transaction Tax to Raise Funds to Fight HIV/AIDS
January 27, 2005
French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, proposed a global tax on international financial transactions to raise $10 billion annually to fight HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports (Hirschler, Reuters, 1/26). Chirac said that options for raising more money for the global fight against HIV/AIDS could come from a tax on international financial transactions, aviation and maritime fuel or capital movements in and out of countries that "practic[e] banking secrecy," according to AFP/Yahoo! News. Chirac also proposed that a "small" tax, such as one dollar, be tacked onto the cost of every one of the three billion airline tickets sold each year (AFP/Yahoo! News, 1/27). Chirac said that the funding could be raised "without hampering markets" and could be used to provide antiretroviral treatment to more HIV-positive people in developing countries, support HIV prevention campaigns and contribute to research on an HIV/AIDS vaccine, according to Reuters (Taylor, Reuters, 1/26). "What is striking about these examples is the disproportion between the modest efforts required and the benefits everyone would reap from them," Chirac said (AFP/Yahoo! News, 1/27). Chirac called on leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- to debate his proposals in July at the G8 summit in Scotland, which will be hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according the AP/Forbes (AP/Forbes, 1/26). Chirac also said that decisions on plans to fight disease, reduce global poverty and implement the Millennium Development Goals should be made at the United Nations summit in September, according to Reuters.
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