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Archive for 9. November 2018

This is typical europe: afraid of everything

Posted by hkarner - 9. November 2018

Date: 08-11-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: A European Digital Retreat

Leaders abandon France’s tax grab on U.S. tech firms and Ireland.

French President Emmanuel Macron.

As impressive as Emmanuel Macron’s reform successes have been, this week brings word of a failure by the French President that’s worth cheering. There are growing signs that the Europe-wide digital tax cherished by Paris is falling by the wayside.

Finance ministers from Ireland, Sweden and Denmark this week rebuffed the European Commission’s digital tax proposal, released earlier this year, and Berlin now appears to have reservations as well. All signs are that at least some of these governments will exercise their veto over the plan at the next finance ministers’ summit in December, or kick the plan into the long grass by delaying further action until 2021 or later.

Mr. Macron and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire have aggressively advocated such a tax, which the Commission would set as a 3% charge on revenues (not profits), to be paid to the EU state where the revenue is earned rather than where a European subsidiary is headquartered. This is an attack on U.S. tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet, since few European companies would hit the thresholds of €750 million in annual global revenue and €50 million in EU revenue above which the tax kicks in.

The plan also is a policy assault on low-tax EU states such as Ireland, which has attracted the European headquarters of many global tech companies by imposing a 12.5% tax rate on corporate profits. Tax-happy EU members such as France and Germany have complained about this competition for decades, and Messrs. Macron and Le Maire may have thought that public irritation at American tech companies over privacy would provide political cover for another attack on Dublin. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit vs. the Irish Question

Posted by hkarner - 9. November 2018

Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh’s books include Small Wars, Faraway Places: The Genesis of the Modern World, Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism, The Third Reich: A New History, and The Best and the Worst of Times: The World As It Is (forthcoming). He is CEO of the global political risk consultancy Sea Change Partners.

Brexiteers have given no serious thought to what withdrawal from the European Union will mean for Northern Ireland and its relationship with Great Britain. If they had, they would have known that there is no way to bring twenty-first-century reality into line with their nineteenth-century delusions of grandeur.

LONDON – On Brexit day – March 29, 2019 – the HMS Buccaneer Britannia will set sail in search of the riches of the “Anglosphere.” But there is a hitch: Someone has forgotten to raise the anchor, which remains planted firmly in Ireland.

This isn’t surprising. Of all the Euroskeptic Conservative politicians I know, not one has ever mentioned Northern Ireland, let alone the sovereign country to the south of it. The only thing on the Brexiteers’ minds is the quest for parliamentary sovereignty and liberation from the supranational “superstate” in Brussels.

This blinkered view may simply reflect ignorance. Even an erstwhile “Remainer” like Karen Bradley, the current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, recently confessed that, “[…] when I started this job, I didn’t understand some of the deep-seated and deep-rooted issues that there are in Northern Ireland.” In other words, until very recently, she has been incurious about one of the central issues of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British history.

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US Voters Check Trump

Posted by hkarner - 9. November 2018

Date: 08-11-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Susan Froetschel

The US midterm elections produced a divided Congress and reflect a polarized electorate. Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate. US foreign policy under President Donald Trump will not change dramatically as the US government’s design limits radical change without broad support. Still, the opposition has the power to hold investigations. Health care and immigration are top concerns for voters. Not mentioned much during the election is the nation’s mountain of public debt. Revenue is limited for government initiatives, and Susan Froetschel argues this adds to polarization. To ease uncertainty, political leaders must educate voters on the many valuable economic, security and cultural connections with the rest of the world. US leaders must also practice fiscal responsibility to demonstrate that their policies are sustainable. – YaleGlobal

US midterm elections reflect polarization as Republicans add Senate seats and Democrats control the House of Representatives Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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