This just out in the Tribune of Geneva newspaper about pressure EU countries are putting upon Swiss bank secrecy. Swiss People’s Party (Central Democratic Union) deputy Yves Nidegger, like the majority of his party, is opposed to all cooperation in taxation matters:
La Suisse a été trop naïve jusqu’à aujourd’hui
Quick translation by me:
Switzerland has been too naive up to now.
Switzerland is in the process of losing everything because it has capitulated to pressure, thinks Geneva UDC politician Yves Nidegger. He calls for a nationwide burst of action.
Switzerland is not fighting enough against foreign pressure about taxation matters, says the National Counselor Yves Nidegger (UDC). To support his position the Genevan brandishes extracts from a French Senate commission report. The report speaks of “making Switzerland crack”, and refers to Switzerland as a country where the political class is “relatively fragile”.
Yves Nidegger is opposed, with the majority of his party, to any cooperation in taxation matters. He is also opposed to the automatic exchange of information that the EU is demanding as well as to arrangements such as Rubik which Germany refused this week.
The Tribune of Geneva asked Yves Nidegger: “what shocks you in this [French Senate] report?”
Nidegger: the most shocking is the admitted objective of the French to attack us in order to get to other EU member countries such as Luxembourg and Austria. This shows that the public, the political class, and the media are not going far enough in their analysis: they continue to believe that the moral crusade for honest taxation is the real motivation for what has come upon us. Parliamentary work shows that Switzerland has been very naïve up to now. It has continuously blamed itself and responded to foreign attacks without an offensive strategy. As to the remark about the fragility of the Swiss political class, this is true, we already know, thank you.
TdG asks: “According to you should Switzerland put up more of a fight?”
Nidegger: Of course so. We are in an economic war, but we are not engaging in combat. The price of capitulation will be very high. It is late, but if Switzerland wants to overcome this, it will require a diplomatic, economic and political offensive against the EU. We should not forget that Switzerland is capable of guaranteeing the debt of Greece. It is 4 times that of the Canton of Geneva. If it were to happen, Greece would be Triple-A rated. We could take a load off of Europe and demand some respect in exchange…
If Switzerland wants to survive tomorrow it must first reconcile with itself. But if it continues to act as a teenager angry about his heritage, it will lose. We need to heal our spirit. That is why I am engaged in a political party.
Counterpoint from socialist deputy Jean-Christophe Schwaab:
L’UDC est responsable de la fragilité de la Suisse
Contrarily, nothing shocking for the National Counselor (Deputy) Jean Christophe Schwaab (Socialist Party). According to him, the interpretation made by the nationalist-right deputy is erroneous. Explanations.
Tribune of Geneva: Jean Christophe Schwaab, why do these excerpts from the report not shock you?
Jean Christophe Schwaab: When one defends something that is indefensible, such as the protection of tax evaders, one should not be surprised to make enemies in other democracies. Especially when one makes a national myth about it. To have a business model which consists of protecting and encouraging tax evasion can only weaken us and put us in a situation where our neighbors take note of our weaknesses.
What creates Switzerland’s fragility is precisely those who clutch with beaks and claws to that which causes our troubles; it is the Swiss People’s Party (UDC). The party creates fragility in Switzerland because it holds on to banking secrecy, which is in the process of disappearing, whatever one does.
Tribune of Geneva: Is it not shocking to want to “make Switzerland crack” under pretext to attack other countries who are EU members?
JCS: No, nothing surprising there either. As we are not in the EU, these targets are not really our business… But the crux of the affair is that if we were virtuous and if we combatted tax evasion with other countries, nobody would cause the problems that we are experiencing now. In that case, one would attack straightaway the anglo-normand islands [he is probably referring to Jersey and Gurnsey], Luxembourg, and possibly Delaware.
It does not surprise me that the French chose the most efficient strategy to combat tax evasion. We can only blame ourselves.
What really upsets me about the socialist’s response is that he does not mention our sovereignty. With people who take such as an approach as his and the general outcry against so called tax evaders, I am afraid that no distinction will be made for residents of Switzerland that pay taxes in Switzerland but are unable to comply with, or chose not to comply with imperalistic US double taxation and reporting policies.
But thank you, Deputy Schwaab, for mentionning Delaware.
The biggest myth is that the Nazis weren’t socialists and statists. If we accept that, then we can begin to understand the true scope and nature of what we are facing. Both the Communists and Nazi’s have illustrious histories of wanton disregard for the people whose “social welfare” they claim to want to protect.
Since the second world war the socialists and the left have had various ties to the hard core Nazi’s and Communists. The left may balk at outright murder and genocide, but they have no qualms about trashing all our freedoms for the sake of “social justice”. And the hard left are pushing for a lot more punishment to be meted out to the successful, especially those who would dare flee their responsibility to be their brothers’ keeper. The Communists and Nazi’s won’t hesitate to use force to enforce these left wing goals if it helps them achieve power. As time has passed these elements have completely subsumed and corrupted the system. Unless the left (and the greens, and the feminists, and the gays, and the blacks as well) can isolate and cast off the Communists and Nazis in their midst then we can all kiss freedom of speech, private property rights and financial privacy goodbye.
We are being herded to a fascist-socialist-globalist-state where every detail about our lives will be exposed to the eye of Sauron.
This about a lot more than Fatca and extraterritorial taxation.
Eye of Sauron may refer to:
@confederateh I agree that what is going on here is not just about extraterritorial taxation. It is about FREEDOM. When basic rights such as freedom of movement, freedom of economic activity and privacy and due process (4th and 5th amendments) are abrogated by such a construction as FATCA, democracy itself is at risk. I have often compared the anticipated effects of FATCA to what happened to certain groups of people (and ultimately everyone) in Germany after the Nuremberg Laws. Disenfranchisement, single-party rule, a climate of control, fear and persecution; some groups of people not allowed to function as citizens in any semblance; war, massacre (already going on). If Switzerland caves into this, General Guisan will roll over in his grave.
I am mentionning this here rather than starting another thread because I don’t want to detract from the FATCA fact finding forum reports that are now at the top of the list.
Appearantly, Obama might nominate Kerry for State (Clinton wants to step down).
Does anyone here have any thoughts on this? Probably won’t change anything for us? I really don’t remember what Kerry’s platform was, although I voted for him in ’04 because despite that I have usually tended towards the conservatives, I could not stand W.
I think that anyone who understands French should listen to this. It does speak about (even ordinary back-office) bank employees’ names being revealed and their plight, but does not speak about ordinary USPs in Switzerland, or even ordinary Swiss that do not live or work in such opulent buildings as depicted in the programme.
My opinion is that the majority of people at IBS are working or middle class and are being unconstitutionally run over by idiots who write laws and policies that do not address our situation. Again, even the Swiss press has failed to address our plight.
What a shame.
I also thought that the following “20 years after the NO to the EU” (EEE not exactly EU but precurser) would be à propos for Brockers who understand French whether they be in Canada, Switzerland, France, Belgium, or Africa or elsewhere.
@JDT: IMO democracy is the problem, and more democracy is not the solution. The civil war in the US was democracy on display. Across Europe the the most socialistic states are invariably the states with the highest benefits and highest taxes. This too is democracy on display, especially in all the PIIGS countries and the US. Eventually a large proportion of the people pay little or no income taxes and vote themselves handouts at the cost of the rest. Expats are merely the low hanging fruit.
@ConfederateH I am a firm believer in Democracy and the Swiss system is one of the best. The only problem is that people do not always do their duty. When I vote, I spend at least an hour reading before deciding on what to vote on laws. I read the law. Most people just look at what their party says, or what the government is recommending them to vote.
The lower classes pay litte or nothing, the upper classes pay proportionally less. The middle class gets screwed. What I do not understand is why the middle class cannot get justice, they are the majority aren’t they?
From The Globe and Mail.
Storied Swiss bank to close after pleading guilty in U.S. tax evasion case
Well that is one less bank for competition to the TBTF banks. So, FATCA did not do this, so why isn’t just DOJ action sufficient for the task at hand?
Followup story at Forbes by Robert Wood.
FATCA Cliff: Tax Evasion Guilty Plea and Death for Oldest Swiss Bankhttp://onforb.es/137z16i @forbestaxblogs It capitulated and pleaded guilty!
@Just Me I don’t understand why Wegelin should have even shown up in court. With no US branches, they were indeed subject to Swiss law and only Swiss law (or was this only after they split up, selling the non-US part of their bank to Raifeissen). The issue may have had to do with their US holdings on behalf of clients (i.e. the 16 million held by Wegelin in UBS Connecticut).
@ Jeff Tomas:
Below is the translated last paragraph from a commentary on the final act in the Bank Wegelin drama in today’s NZZ. The last sentence provides at least a partial answer to why the US was successful. Germans might call this “Realpolitik”:
“Almost tragically it appears that (Bank Wegelin’s) offshore business with U.S. customers, which sealed the doom of the bank, never was of strategic importance. In 2010, US offshore clients’ assets under management reached CHF 1.2 billion or less than 5% of the funds managed by Wegelin. The alleged loss to the U.S. Treasury of tax revenues stands at a silly $ 20 million. Or, to put it simply: The bank has lost its existence for a pittance. The partners in charge of their core business, the management of risks, made mistakes. The acquisition of toxic assets from at least 70 UBS customers was fatal because it ultimately sealed the fate of the bank. Although the bank’s owners did not violate Swiss law, they overestimated the ability of a small country like Switzerland to defend itself against the gunboat diplomacy of the United States.“
@Innocente Thanks for that article and the translation. Yes, Realpolitik. What a shame.
*I am going to take a contrarian view. This is not as great of victory for the US as everyone in the FCC is making it out to be. This was essentially a settlement for business reasons from the perspective of both side. If Wegelin didn’t show up the case was going no where and while the partners of Wegelin are going to pay a couple million dollars in fines to them that is essentially tip money.