EU financial transaction tax gains enough support for launch

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Eleven European Unioncountries support the introduction of a tax on financialtransactions, EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta told EUfinance ministers on Tuesday, a number that exceeds the nineneeded to legally launch the initiative.

"We see that four additional member states intend to joinenhanced cooperation, so it means that we arrive to 11 memberstates," Semeta told the ministers during a televised part oftheir discussions in Luxembourg.

"I would like to remind those that stated it orally thatthey formally, in writing, present their request for enhancedcooperation. Only when we will receive nine or more formalletters, only then the process will start."

The new countries that joined the initiative are Italy,Spain, Slovakia and Estonia.

The initiative is strongly backed by Germany and France,although there are differences of opinion over how much revenuethe tax will generate and what the income should be used for.

(Reporting By John O'Donnell, writing by Jan Strupczewski)

((jan.strupczewski@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 68 37)(ReutersMessaging: jan.strupczewski.reuters.com@reuters.net))