Where there's smoke...
Re: French tax talk soundly rejected, By Beata Balogová, Sep 13-19, Volume 10, No 35
In a straightforward fashion, [French Minister] Sarkozy does have a point. It is indeed unfair that a country with high taxes sends subsidies to a country with low taxes. However, Slovakia can counter this by saying that it is similarly unfair that its farmers get fewer subsidies than do the French. In other words, the playing field is actually level when everything is factored in.
If Slovaks can show, early next year, that lowering taxes did not result in lower tax receipts, the only remaining disparity would be that some companies would regard Slovakia more attractive than France. But this easily can be painted as affirmative action on a country level. If that still is not enough, Slovakia can demand that the bank-issue (access to numbered accounts in Luxemburg, Austria and Switzerland) should be levelled out, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum.
This is what I like about the EU: apart from foreign policy, defence, healthcare and pension-funding, the eventual new rules and regulations have been chewed on so much and for so long, that general consensus comes with weary acceptance, and then there are neither winners nor losers.
27. Sep 2004 at 0:00