David Charter and Philip Webster
November 17, 2009
[efoods]The man tipped to be Europe’s first president is already considering new EU taxes to fund the rising cost of Brussels and the welfare state.
Herman Van Rompuy, the Belgian Prime Minister, broke his silence before Thursday’s summit to choose the president — but only at a meeting of the secretive Bilderberg group of top politicians, bankers and businessmen.
Mr Van Rompuy’s contentious remarks were aired privately amid the grand surroundings of the Castle of the Valley of the Duchess near Brussels. The château hosted the talks on the Treaty of Rome in 1957 that launched the European Union.
His office released parts of his speech in which he talked of funding social welfare from new green taxes and went on to discuss “financing levies at European level”, which his spokesman said later was similar to Gordon Brown’s call for an international tax on financial transactions.