|Author (Person)||Karvinen, Jyrki|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.8, No.6, 14.2.02, p2|
COMMISSION President Romano Prodi has backed the introduction of an EU-wide tax, insisting that it need not result in an increase in the overall amount paid each year by individual taxpayers.
Prodi said the EU should have the right to collect its own taxes like member states and local authorities to enable it to have proper control over its expenditure.
'But I do not mean raising taxes, not at all,' he stressed. He argued that the absence of an EU tax meant the Commission was unable to plan properly for the future. For instance, it cannot assess the level of regional aid programmes beyond the current funding period which ends in 2006. Asked for his forecast of what sort of funding might be on the table then, Prodi replied: 'Tell me what the budget looks like and I will give you a solution.'
The 62-year-old former Italian premier hinted that he had been hurt by the avalanche of criticism he had faced last autumn over his leadership style. But he said the importance of his office had not suffered as a result, adding: 'Otherwise so many prime ministers would not want this post.'
Commission President Romano Prodi has backed the introduction of an EU-wide tax, insisting that it need not result in an increase in the overall amount paid each year by individual taxpayers.