Austrian chancellor suggests raising derivatives tax

VIENNA Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:10am EST

VIENNA Feb 14 (Reuters) - Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann suggested on Thursday raising the levy on derivative trades once 11 euro zone countries have implemented a new tax on financial transactions.

The European Commission is supposed to present its draft version of the tax on Thursday, and Faymann said it could generate more than 500 million euros ($672 million) a year for Austria alone and 31 billion in all starting in January 2014.

The draft calls for the imposing of a 0.1 percent surcharge on most stock and bond transactions and 0.01 percent on derivatives trades.

"For me it is a good start but I could imagine taking perhaps 0.015 percent for derivatives instead of 0.01. I would absolutely be open to an increase," he told Austrian broadcaster ORF in an interview.

Faymann, a Social Democrat who governs with conservative coalition partners, said he could imagine capturing foreign exchange trades as well with the tax but noted this had to be worked out in negotiations that aim to include as many countries in the scheme as possible.

Eleven euro zone countries won approval last month for the tax on financial transactions that seeks to shift more responsibility for the region's crisis onto banks despite fears it could drive business out of Europe.

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