Despite much effort on the part of those in Switzerland who were aware of the FATCA threat, the referendum against the Swiss IGA and the unconstitutional Swiss Application Law did not obtain enough signatures to obtain immediate suspension of both and also at the same time failed to force an immediate vote of the people on the same (at least in the current operational sense). I am now all sore ears and it was much to my chagrin as I heard the radio news flash this evening. Two days from the deadline (16 January 2014), the tally of signatures was c. 31’000 (Thirty-One-Thousand of Fifty-Thousand [50'000] required) and the Referendum Comittee (www.stop-fatca.ch) announced so (according to the radio news flash I heard). A brief article appears here in French: Swiss Anti-FATCA Referendum: Will not be voted upon [Not Enough Signatures]
I shall not bother wasting time translating aforecited article, as one will undoubtably find from tomorrow at latest sufficient articles in English and German (just Google it please) relaying the same information.
What I would like to stress is that FATCA will still not be in legitimate legal force in Switzerland, no matter what now happens. This is not to say that its effects will not be felt, or that FATCA will not be applied albeit unconstitutionally by banks, government authorities, etc. What I now say is what I have said and/or alluded to here in the past at IBS many times before: the signature of the Federal Council and parliamentary approbabtion of the IGA are null and void. There is no IGA. FATCA is not applicable in Switzerland and anyone who attempts to enforce it is an enemy of the Swiss Sovereign People.
The Swiss Federal Constitution mandates that the Confederation (i.e. Swiss Federal Government) act to protect the Rights and Interests of the People. Aforesaid Constitution undisputably mandates guarantees of nondiscrimination and liberty of economic oppourtunity, as well as the right to a family and the protection of privacy, among many other things. Here at IBS, we all know that FATCA violates such guarantees, as expressed in the UDHR, as well as many constitutions around the world.
No, I do not believe that the interests of the banks and the financial sector represent those of the People in the long term. Idiots at certain Swiss banks actively looking for punters in the US to store funds in Switzerland should not be allowed to thus jeapardize the fundemental rights of average citizens. Nor may the immediate perceived needs of the economy be used as excuses for signing such Intolerable Acts as FATCA. It is the interests of the Sovereign Swiss People, as a body of Citizens, that must be upheld. And to respect this, the guarantees of rights enumerated in the Constitution must be taken seriously and without any compromise.
What is more important than upholding hundreds of years of democratic evolution that did result in Constitutions and Democratic ways of working that guarantee certain Rights for Members of Society? Ignoring what has been written amounts to a digression, a dis-evolution of the spirit of (wo)men and the ethos of human society.
Why weren’t enough signatures obtained? Because the media in Switzerland, in my opinion, did not pay enough attention to the problem (same story as to mainstream media in a lot of places…) Because most Swiss –except those who are really affected– do not understand the full and perverse effects of FATCA, FBAR, Double Taxation. Because most people thus seem to think that the whole story has to do with very rich people and nobody else.
Wrong. This present violation of the Constitution threatens everyone. It is everyone’s business.
The Federal Concil and Parliament FAILED IN THEIR DUTY to submit to MANDATORY POPULAR VOTE the adherence to a Supranational Body which the FATCA-complex is in fact. The US is attempting to operate as a Supranational Body, in violation of the sovereignty and sovereign constitutional guarantees of other nations.
The Swiss Constitution having required a mandatory vote (not an optional one, which the Referendum at issue in the present article attempted to cause) in such cases, and the acts of the government and parliament showing no sign to respect such mandate: such acts of parliament and government are null and void.
One may ask: how to bring my foregoing theses and interpretation to fruition in order to save democracy and sovereignty? I will leave it up to all of you to discuss. However, an INITIATIVE (not Referendum in the Swiss sense) is not out of bounds. There are also oppourtunities to present the relevant issues before Swiss, European, and International Courts, especially as individual cases present themselves and thus satisfy the requirement for “Standing” to bring suit.
LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY !!
VIVE LA SUISSE LIBRE ET INDEPENDANTE !!
Jefferson D. Tomas