in front of Cologne Cathedral, Germany, 2004 An ATTAC stall at the ''Volksstimmefest'', Image:%attac.JPG.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Vienna">Image:%attac.JPG">An ATTAC stall at the ''Volksstimmefest'', ,_2005_([[:Image:%attac.JPG">details) The_Association_pour_la_Taxation_des_Transactions_financières_et_pour_l'Action_Citoyenne_(''Association_for_the_Taxation_of_financial_Transactions_and_Citizen's_Action'',_ATTAC)_is_an_activist_organisation_originally_created_to_promote_the_establishment_of_a_tax_on_[[Foreign_exchange_market.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Austria, 2005 ([[:Image:%attac.JPG">details) The Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières et pour l'Action Citoyenne (''Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Citizen's Action'', ATTAC) is an activist organisation originally created to promote the establishment of a tax on [[Foreign exchange market">foreign exchange transactions.


Originally called "Action for a Tobin Tax to Assist the Citizen", ATTAC was a [[single-issue movement demanding the introduction of the so-called [[Tobin tax on [[currency [[speculation.[On the ATTAC: A new European alternative to globalisation, David Moberg, These Times magazine, May 2001] ATTAC has enlarged its scope to a wide range of issues related to globalisation, and monitoring the decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD,) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ATTAC representatives attend the meetings of the G8 with the goal of influencing policymakers' decisions. Attac spokesmen recently criticised Germany for what it called the criminalisation of anti-G8 groups. At the founding, ATTAC had specific statutory objectives based on the promotion of the Tobin tax. For example, ATTAC Luxembourg specifies in article 1 of its statutes that it
"aims to produce and communicate information, and to promote and carry out activities of all kinds for the recapture, by the citizens, of the power that the financial sector has on all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life throughout the world. Such means include the taxation of transactions in foreign exchange markets (Tobin tax)."''Luxembourg Official Journal'', p. 42, ATTAC Statutes (Translated from French)
ATTAC refutes claims that it is an anti-globalisation movement, but it criticises the neoliberal ideology that it sees as dominating economic globalisation. It supports those globalisation policies that their representatives characterise as sustainable and socially just. One of ATTAC's slogans is "The World is not for sale", denouncing the "merchandisation" of society. Another slogan is "Another world is possible", pointing to an alternative globalisation in which people and not profit is in focus.

James Tobin opposing ATTAC

Attac was founded to promote the Tobin tax by the Keynesian economist James Tobin. Tobin has said that Attac has misused his name. He says he has nothing in common with their goals and supports free trade — "everything that these movements are attacking. They're misusing my name." "They Are Misusing My Name"
, an interview with James Tobin, ''Der Spiegel'', 03 September 2001

Organisational history

In December 1997, Ignacio Ramonet wrote in ''Le Monde diplomatique'' an editorial in which he advocated the establishment of the Tobin tax and the creation of an organisation to pressure governments around the world to introduce the tax. ATTAC was created on June 3, 1998, during a constitutive assembly in France. While it was founded in France it now exists in over forty countries around the world. In France, politicians from the left are members of the association. In Luxembourg, Francois Bausch of the left Green party is the founding politician in the association's initial member list. ATTAC functions on a principle of decentralisation: local associations organise meetings, conferences, and compose documents that become counter-arguments to the perceived neoliberal discourse. ATTAC aims to formalise the possibility of an alternative to the neoliberal society that is currently required of globalisation. ATTAC aspires to be a movement of popular education.

Views on Attac and its members in different countries


Communist Juhani Lohikoski, previously a chairman of Communist Youth League and Socialist League, served as the chairman of Finnish Attac for two terms (2002 - 2004). Yrjö Hakanen, chairman of the Communist Party of Finland, was a member of the board and a member of the founding committee. In March 2002 Aimo Kairamo, the long-time chief editor of the party organ of the Social Democrat Party, resigned from Attac and recommended the same decision for other social democrats because of the left-wing minority communists' leading positions. Soon also the social democrat foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja considered to follow Kairamo's example.


Researcher Malin Gawell covers the birth and development of Attac Sweden in her doctoral thesis on activist entrepreneurship. She suggests that Attac in Sweden was formed by people seeking a new way of organising with flat hierarchy, and with the strongly sensed need of making a change as the driving force.
From another perspective, Sydsvenskan newspaper suggested that the downturn of memberships in Swedish Attac after the hype in the beginning of 2001 may be due to its views on trade policies.Det goda livet
Sydsvenskan, pääkirjoitus 19.1.2004

Issues and activities

The main issues covered by ATTAC today are: * Control of financial markets (e.g., Tobin tax) * "Fair" instead of "free" trade, via democratic control of the World Trade Organization and international financial institutions such the International Monetary Fund, Worldbank, European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement, Free Trade Area of the Americas, and G8. * Defense of public goods - air, water, information * Defense of public social services - like those relevant to health, social services, and social security. For example, it is against the privatisation of pensions and of the health care system. ATTAC has also taken a position on genetically modified organisms. ATTAC also opposes General Agreement on Trade in Services. * The struggle to end tax evasion (tax havens) as practiced by transnational corporations and rich individuals * Sustainable globalisation * Cancellation of the debt of Developing Countries. * ATTAC campaigned against the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. * ATTAC is involved in fighting against climate change, for environmental justice and, especially, in supporting Alternatiba, Village of Alternatives. In France, ATTAC associates with many other left-wing causes.


In the year 2008 Attac Switzerland was hit by a scandal which was later called Nestlégate by the local media. Between the years 2003 and 2005, the Swiss multinational food and beverage company Nestlé, engaged the external Security company Securitas AG, to spy on the Swiss Attac branch. Nestlé started the monitoring, when Attac Switzerland decided to work on a critical book about Nestlé. Due to Nestlégate, Attac Switzerland filed a lawsuit against Nestlé which was decided in favour of Attac in January 2013, as the personal rights of the observed were violated. They received a compensation for damages of 3'000 Swiss francs each, which has an equivalent of about 3'230 USD at the date of the proclamation of sentence.

See also

* Alter-globalisation * Anti-globalisation * Clearstream scandal, a clearing house (meta-bank) involved in one of the biggest financial scandals ever * Currency transaction tax * Financial transaction tax * Global financial system * MRAP, anti-racist NGO engaged in the creation of ATTAC * Robin Hood tax * Tobin tax * Ireland as a tax haven


* *

External links

ATTAC official web site

"Disarming the Markets"
editorial by Ignacio Ramonet * {{DEFAULTSORT:Association Pour La Taxation Des Transactions Pour L'aide Aux Citoyens Category:Anti-globalization organizations Category:Political and economic think tanks based in France Category:Tax reform Category:1998 establishments in France Category:Organizations established in 1998 Category:Financial transaction tax