PARIS - Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for an exceptional tax on global bank bonuses in a joint newspaper column on Thursday.

In the column published in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, Sarkozy and Brown also proposed closer coordination of economic policy to correct global imbalances, and said such coordination should ensure exchange rate volatility did not threaten recovery.

They said several proposals such as levies on financial transactions deserved to be examined.

Among these proposals, we agree that a one off tax in relation to bonuses should be considered a priority due to the fact that bonuses for 2009 have arisen partly because of government support for the banking system, they said in a copy of the text seen by Reuters.

Sarkozy ruffled feathers in London when he boasted that the appointment of Frenchman Michel Barnier to oversee a shake-up of European banking was a victory for France and loss for free-market Britain.

Sarkozy and Brown are due to meet on Thursday on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Brussels and are expected to try and ease tension over the appointment.

The two have much to do to quell concerns in the City of London, one of the world's biggest financial centres, that Barnier could push for even tighter regulation.

Brown and Sarkozy said they wanted the Group of 20 to discuss a new process of deciding macro-economic strategy, and that through this process the world needed to correct and prevent global imbalances.

Each country should play its part in reducing global imbalances, they added.

We need to enhance coordination at the global level so that foreign exchange volatility does not create a risk for the recovery, they said.
(Reporting by Sophie Hardach and Yann Le Guernigou; editing by Carol Bishopric)