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EU Threatens Tiny Switzerland Over Low Taxes
New American ^ | 11/29/11 | Alex Newman

Posted on 11/29/2011 12:53:32 PM PST by Mikey_1962

Despite not being a member of the European Union, Switzerland is under intense pressure from Brussels to raise taxes as companies flee high-tax EU welfare states in favor of more business-friendly Swiss cantons. And if the nation refuses to bow down soon, so-called “eurocrats” are threatening retaliation.

The Swiss government has been in discussions with EU bosses for over a year regarding Switzerland’s non-compliance with the “EU Code of Conduct for Business Taxation.” The EU’s goal, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, is to eliminate what the supranational regime in Brussels calls “harmful tax practices” — low taxes which attract capital, businesses, jobs, and workers away from the crumbling European super-state.

But the EU tax regime does not apply to Switzerland, Swiss authorities insist. The nation has a long history of avoiding foreign entanglements, and despite immense pressure, it has steadily resisted calls to submit to regional authorities and continental "integration" schemes.

In Switzerland, cantonal governments close to voters set their own tax policies. The resulting competition between the more than two dozen cantons fosters a business-friendly environment of low taxes, minimal government interference, and widespread prosperity. That is one important reason why international businesses flock to Switzerland in droves.

The Swiss model works so well that even as the EU and its single euro currency face a crisis of monumental proportions and possible economic implosion, Switzerland’s economy is doing just fine. Its GDP per capita is about double the EU’s, while its unemployment rate is around half.

The Swiss government also consistently posts budget surpluses as its bloated EU neighbors drown in debt and seek bailouts. In fact, Switzerland is even helping to fund the handouts for profligate European regimes. And its economy is the most competitive in the world, according to the global competitiveness index.

With a heavily armed population of less than eight million, Switzerland has maintained its sovereignty and independence through two world wars raging on all sides and the more recent erection of the EU, which now completely surrounds the tiny alpine nation. With a decentralized system of government, the Swiss have also been able to largely preserve their liberty despite constant European pressure.

But Brussels — ruling over half of a billion people so far — is not giving up yet. A recent EU report threatened that if “satisfactory” progress is not made on ending Switzerland’s low tax rates within the next six months, unspecified “alternative measures” will have to be considered. And according to EU diplomats cited by the Swiss News Agency, “retaliation measures” might be in the cards.

“Just who do these unelected oiks think they are? Bullying a sovereign state outside of the EU to comply with ‘their’ greedy tax practices. What they really mean is, as a centrally planned soviet-style economy, the EU cannot cope with competition,” said Ian Parker-Joseph, the former leader of the UK Libertarian Party. “This is what happens when democracy meets an authoritarian dictatorship, and all the more reason to resist such unreasonable demands.... But something tells me that the oiks in Brussels won’t be around for too much longer to put pressure on anyone.”

Incredibly, EU bosses claim to consider low corporate tax rates a form of subsidies. And if the Swiss refuse to comply with European demands, the punishment could be devastating — especially because Switzerland depends so heavily on international trade.

“One day Brussels will certainly make Bern give in. Switzerland will either have to implement the code of conduct or make concessions,” Geneva University political scientist René Schwok told the Swiss Info news agency. “It will be forced to find a solution. For example, it might lower taxation for Swiss firms and raise it for foreign companies.”

Indeed, Switzerland has been working to maintain friendly relations with European governments. It recently signed treaties with the UK and Germany promising to hand over tax revenues purportedly owed to the two governments — but not the names of clients.

But the European Commission reacted with outrage at the treaties. Because the two governments negotiated without the EU and sidestepped several of its demands, the supranational regime is threatening to sue them in the European “Court of Justice.”

National rulers are adding to the pressure on Switzerland. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, viciously railed against Switzerland recently for refusing to help France track down alleged tax evaders, threatening to make the tiny country into an international pariah if it did not cooperate.

"We do not want any more tax havens,” Sarkozy roared at reporters earlier this month, citing Switzerland and Lichtenstein. “The message is very clear: countries which persist in being tax havens will be ostracized by the international community."

And tax-funded pro-tax lobbyists and propagandists joined in the condemnation, too. "It may be a welcome step for the EU if France is prepared to use its political muscle against Switzerland," said Markus Meinzer of the taxpayer-financed “Tax Justice Network,” which opposes financial privacy.

The EU has also repeatedly demanded that Switzerland automatically accept the growing avalanche of European “laws” promulgated from Brussels in exchange for being able to trade freely with the bloc. So far, however, the Swiss have not given in to the bullying.

Switzerland’s strongest political party, the center-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP), continues to take a hard line against the perpetually growing EU apparatus and its efforts to infringe on the small nation’s sovereignty. The population overwhelmingly opposes foreign entanglements as well.

The EU defines terrorism as offenses that may “seriously damage a country or an international organization where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organization to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization.” EU critics have pointed out that the supranational regime’s bullying tactics fit several elements of the definition almost exactly.

Of course, the EU is not the only ailing powerhouse to bully the Swiss. Last year, the U.S. government was terrorizing the nation about its banking and tax laws, too. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — which has essentially become a “cartel” for bloated welfare regimes — also consistently targets Switzerland’s economic liberty.

Some critics said the EU was using Switzerland as a scapegoat for its own self-made economic crisis. Others lambasted European leaders for terrorizing the tiny country instead of fixing the EU’s own problems — possibly by using the Swiss model that seems to work so well for Switzerland.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: debt; eu; spending; swiss; switzerland; welfare
Populations follow jobs; Jobs follow Capital Investment; Capital Investment follows the path of least resistance (resistance being: taxes, regulation and hostile political environment).
1 posted on 11/29/2011 12:53:32 PM PST by Mikey_1962
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To: Mikey_1962

What the hell is wrong with the Swiss? Do they think they know what is BEST for the Swiss?


2 posted on 11/29/2011 12:57:43 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Recovering_Democrat
The nation has a long history of avoiding foreign entanglements...

I wish we did.

3 posted on 11/29/2011 1:01:12 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
The nation has a long history of avoiding foreign entanglements...

I wish we did.

4 posted on 11/29/2011 1:01:12 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: Mikey_1962
"something tells me that the oiks in Brussels won’t be around for too much longer to put pressure on anyone.”

I'm not sure what an "oik" is but I suspect this fellow is probably right. The EU wheels are coming off.

5 posted on 11/29/2011 1:02:03 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Mikey_1962

I’m so proud of the Swiss, on this matter, I’d offer them statehood. On the other hand, why screw them with having to put up with what we do?


6 posted on 11/29/2011 1:02:09 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Romney, Newt, any chance whatsoever you might sometime pander to U.S. Citizens vs the illegals?)
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To: Mikey_1962

Editorial Cartoon:

Europe leaders collectively handing the Swiss a beaker of “TAXES” emblazened with skull & crossbones, while shouting...

“You must drink this poison too, lest you have an unfair advantage!”


7 posted on 11/29/2011 1:05:15 PM PST by G Larry ("I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his Character.")
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To: Mikey_1962
The EU’s goal, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, is to eliminate what the supranational regime in Brussels calls “harmful tax practices” — low taxes which attract capital, businesses, jobs, and workers away from the crumbling European super-state.

The EUrocrats would know all about “harmful tax practices.”

8 posted on 11/29/2011 1:08:43 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The very idea of a community organizer is to stir up a mob for some political purpose." Ann Coulter)
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To: DoughtyOne
Low Taxes, Low unemployment, High Growth rate, and ... "a heavily armed population"...

Hell, their not Europeans, they're Texans!

9 posted on 11/29/2011 1:10:18 PM PST by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: Mikey_1962

Pursuant to “socialism works until you run out of other people’s money”, having run out the inevitable next step is war: either confiscate somebody else’s money by outright force, or combat creditors who will otherwise do the same to you. Lacking the ability to take on other neighbors, EU is so eying the little rich kid next door.


10 posted on 11/29/2011 1:10:39 PM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Mikey_1962
Can really blame the EU for this, after all we are the ones that started it by threatening to seize the assets of Swiss Banks in the US if they refused to cooperate with the IRS in identifying American citizens hiding money in Switzerland. I guess the EU saw that such bullying worked. And a note to Switzerland, once you cave to one bully the rest are going to pile on.
11 posted on 11/29/2011 1:11:29 PM PST by apillar
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To: Mikey_1962

LOL. Good one.

Perhaps the Swiss should bring suit against the E.U. for stinking up the place.


12 posted on 11/29/2011 1:12:06 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Romney, Newt, any chance whatsoever you might sometime pander to U.S. Citizens vs the illegals?)
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To: Mikey_1962

“Destructive Tax Competition” is a staple boiler plate phrase used by the Eurocrats in their chatter.


13 posted on 11/29/2011 1:13:40 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Mikey_1962

So what is the EU going to do? Invade Switzerland?

Switzerland stood independent in the Nazi era in Germany and the Fascist era in Spain and Italy, do you think feeble threats from the toothless giant that is the EU is going to move them?

The canny Swiss will do just as they have always done - be the bankers of last resort for the movements that are going to get their neighbors back on the road to being viable nations again. If businesses have to retreat to Switzerland to reorganize and become the profit-making enterprises they once were, so they may emerge and take a hand in rebuilding their former homeland, then, in the end, that will be the salvation of those nation-states once known as Greece, and Italy, and Spain, and all the other countries that tied their fortunes to the euro standard.

There are simply not enough Swiss francs in circulation to satisfy the needs of all of Europe, and the Swiss have the good sense not to use currency inflation to try to meet that need, not even for short-term advantage, as it invariably backfires, and produces much more mischief than any benefit that may be temporarily available.

There is no substitute for thrift and financial restraint, nor for the disipline necessary to follow that course.


14 posted on 11/29/2011 1:14:32 PM PST by alloysteel (Are Democrats truly "better angels"? They are lousy stewards for America.)
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To: Mikey_1962

Huh


15 posted on 11/29/2011 1:17:26 PM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: Mikey_1962
We suck, you have to suck too or it's unfair!!!
Liberalism in a nutshell.

16 posted on 11/29/2011 1:19:51 PM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Mikey_1962

Why should Swiss follow the examples of failing, bankrupt countries??


17 posted on 11/29/2011 1:20:44 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: All

b


18 posted on 11/29/2011 1:21:16 PM PST by Maverick68
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To: Mikey_1962

I like Swiss cheese.


19 posted on 11/29/2011 1:21:37 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: alloysteel
Switzerland stood independent in the Nazi era in Germany and the Fascist era in Spain and Italy, do you think feeble threats from the toothless giant that is the EU is going to move them?

Redux: "How many divisions does the Pope have?"

History may not repeat itself but it will certainly sing another stanza of the same tune.

20 posted on 11/29/2011 1:27:24 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Mikey_1962

21 posted on 11/29/2011 1:35:53 PM PST by traderrob6
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To: Mikey_1962

I wonder if Missouri could apply for Cantonship?


22 posted on 11/29/2011 1:52:27 PM PST by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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To: Mikey_1962

Nope, they are not Texans they require people to own firearms and they allow the militia to keep their automatic weapons at home.


23 posted on 11/29/2011 1:53:46 PM PST by calex59
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To: alloysteel
Switzerland stood independent in the Nazi era in Germany and the Fascist era in Spain

For the record, so did Spain. Franco took in Jews and refused to let the Nazis station troops in Spain—even though the Germans had sent bombers to help the Spanish beat the Commies and their Soviet backers in the Spanish Civil War.

24 posted on 11/29/2011 1:57:55 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: hinckley buzzard
Oik - I had to look that one up...:^)

from the Oxford English Dictionary: oick, oik (OIk). slang. Etym. obscure. Depreciatory schoolboy word for a member of another school; an unpopular or disliked fellow-pupil. Also gen., an obnoxious or unpleasant person; in weakened senses, a ‘nit-wit’, a ‘clot’.

Sounds like a good description.

25 posted on 11/29/2011 2:07:24 PM PST by az_gila
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To: T-Bird45
I used to work for a guy who grew up in Switzerland during the War. He said German propaganda was withering, radio broadcasts, that "only we Germans and the cow-Swiss prepared for this war. He lived in Bern and a neighborhood in Bern that was riddled with Nazi pieds a terre was bombed by the U.S. during the War. (A plate fell off the wall in his mother's kitchen and broke.)

While officially attributed to navigational error, he, and a lot of other Swiss, took it as a warning not to be a haven for Nazis after the War. And they were not.

26 posted on 11/29/2011 2:19:50 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: SamuraiScot

On the other hand, the Spanish did send a division to fight alongside the Germans on the Russian Front, and their intelligence service was very tight with the Abwehr, as illustrated in the “Man Who Never Was” operation. German ships had rights to Spanish harbors that Allied ships did not. And while Spain did shelter Jews who found their way there, it’s also true that the Spanish submitted a list of 6000 Spanish Jews to Himmler in 1941. As the war went on and the writing on the wall became clear, Franco did more to distance himself from Hitler.


27 posted on 11/29/2011 2:38:49 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Mikey_1962

Do a little reading on the Swiss military it’s a fascinating subject . The Swiss don’t have an army the Swiss are the ARMY literally .

Every road, bridge, tunnel,railroad can be blocked/blasted .

Basically every male between 18 to 65 is in the Army ,the Reserves,the Home Guard armed with a automatic rifle & ammo ,full kit & knows where to go to form up their various units,concealed artillery emplacements ,concealed other various strong points/fortifications .

Trying to invade Switzerland would be as smart as trying to butt rape a porcupine.
The Swiss make the Texans look timid in the field of guarding their borders & independence.


28 posted on 11/29/2011 4:43:18 PM PST by Nebr FAL owner (.308 reach out & thump someone .50 cal.Browning Machine gun reach out & crush someone)
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