In this article, Jeff slams the Federal Council and proposes some fun exercises for Brockers…
Gentle readers beware.
I could not help but be upset at these smiling
buffoons preparing their jolly good summer while we’re mucking about with all of this FATBARDT stuff that they’ve acquiesced to.
Look at our wonderful Federal Counselors, and sing it Brockers “They don’t really care about us…”
Update 14 August 2015 https://www.rts.ch/info/suisse/6997814-une-demission-d-eveline-widmer-schlumpf-n-est-plus-un-tabou-au-pbd.html
Le président du PBD Martin Landolt estime qu’Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf pourrait ne pas être candidate à sa propre succession si ses chances de réélection sont trop faibles… le président du PBD ajoute que même si Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf réussissait mathématiquement à se maintenir au Conseil fédéral, il faudrait se demander s’il serait bien raisonnable de s’accrocher au pouvoir…
Martin Landolt a certainement la volonté de créer un électrochoc pour mobiliser les troupes et rappeler que lors des élections fédérales il y aura bel et bien un enjeu, celui de décider de l’orientation politique du pays.
Cet électrochoc est une arme à double tranchant. Il vise à mobiliser l’électorat du centre, qui comprend qu’il devra se déplacer aux urnes s’il entend sauver Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. Mais il est également rassembleur pour tous ceux qui rêvent de voir l’UDC reconquérir le second siège perdu en 2007 avec l’éviction de Christoph Blocher.
Well, my message during this federal election season is: let Widmer-Schlumpf take a permanent vacation. Write to your incumbents and candidates for Parliament: tell them not to reelect this traitor to the Constitution. I don’t care who replaces her, except it must be someone who will defend the true sovereignty and autonomy of Switzerland and the Swiss People.
Update 4 July 2015: As I implied in my 2 July comment to this same thread, please don’t take this as a post bashing only the Federal Council, but as a criticism of every government who didn’t say no. I am equally upset at a lot of governments, especially ones in our region of the world whose countries I frequented in the past. And I am disappointed in Canada, because I thought they would stand fast.
My criticism of the Federal Council applies to every government that accepted an IGA and did not protect its bone fide residents and citizens. Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. These leaders shirked their responsibility, and that goes for all of the countries. And it goes for the entire government. For example, even if it was Widmer-Schlumpf who was in charge of the negotiations, it was up to the entire Council to ensure that what she did would not violate constitutional rights. We can sing “They don’t really care about us” referring to all the other governments as well. We’re too risky to stand up for, so they think, but if many of them had, it would have held.
Locarno, l’Oberland ou l’Argovie, les conseillers fédéraux resteront majoritairement en Suisse durant l’été, selon un tour d’horizon de l’ats. Des voyages de travail à l’étranger sont également prévus.
Locarno, Berner Oberland, Argovia, the Federal Conselors shall stay in Switzerland for the most part this summer… Some business trips abroad are also planned.
Simonetta Sommaruga effectuera des randonnées en montagne et ira en Espagne et Pologne pour des visites de travail. Le 1er août, elle parlera au Grütli (UR).
Simonetta Sommaruga will go hiking in the mountains and will go to Spain and Poland for business trips. She will speak at Grütli for National Day.
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf célébrera la Fête nationale à Titterten (BL) et s’octroiera quelques jours de repos en Suisse.
[Schlumpfette… this writer’s personal favorite] will celebrate National Day at Titterten, Basel Land.
Alain Berset passera ses vacances en Suisse et en France. Pour la fête nationale, il sera à Lindau (ZH) et Sierre (VS), puis se rendra à l’Expo universelle de Milan et au Festival de Locarno.
Alain Berset will spend his vacation in Switzerland and France. For National Day, he will be at Lindau (Zürich) and Sierre (Canton of Wallis), then will make his way to the Milan Exposition and Locano Festival [film?].
Doris Leuthard effectuera une visite de travail à Singapour et en Corée et prendra quelques jours de repos en Suisse. Le 1er août, elle sera à Ottenbach (ZH) et Bad Zurzach (AG).
Doris Leuthard will undertake a business trip to Singapore and Korea and spend a few days relaxing in Switzerland. On Natinal Day, she will be at Ottenbach (Zürich) and Bad Zurzach (Argovia).
Ueli Maurer ne s’est pas exprimé sur ses vacances. Pour la Fête nationale, il sera à Grosswangen (LU) et Nottwil (LU).
Ueli Maurer hasn’t said anything about his holidays. For National Day, he will be at Grosswangen and Nottwil (Luzern).
Johann Schneider-Ammann ira à Allschwil (BL) le 31 juillet et à Milan le lendemain. Il passera quelques jours dans l’Oberland bernois.
Johann Schneider-Ammann goes to Allschwil (Basel Land) on 31 July and to Milan the next morning. He will spend a few days in Berner Oberland.
Didier Burkhalter, pas fixé sur ses vacances, sera à Sumiswald (BE) et Zurich le 1er août.
Didier Burkhalter, undecided about his vacation, will be at Sumiswald (Bern) and Zürich on National Day.
Please, any of you that can make it to their public appearances, do go and boo these weak “potentates” who lack discernment and the guts to protect the rights of those living in their nation.
Ask me this: Who do you think the real FATCAts are in the story of the oppression against us?
I think that another possible reason behind which Parliament and the Federal Council bent over to blackmail and accepted an unconstitutional IGA treasonous to the rights and interests of the Sovereign People has to do with the massive investment in the US.
Please see (French) : Apple, Exxon, l’industrie d’armement, la BNS investit des milliards aux USA
Translation of the title and subtitle:
Apple, Exxon, arms industry, the BNS invests billions in the USA… The Swiss National Bank holds a portfolio of American stocks worth almost 38 billion Dollars.
In the footnote block second from the bottom of the article entitled “Des investissements dans les armes”, the article says that the BNS assures us that it abstains from purchasing stocks of companies who produce weapons prohibited by the international community. I would hope so.
The last footnote block says that the strong franc boosts the investments, first paragraph thereof:
The strong growth of the investments between last quarter 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 corresponds to the appreciation of the franc following the abandonment of the floor exchange-rate”
[BNS had blocked the EUR = 1.2 CHF until beginning of the year by massively purchasing EUR currency, and after the end of this intervention, the rate fell to parity]
What? If the franc increased in foreign exchange value wouldn’t the value of US investments go down? What do they mean?
Would all Brockers (Authors, commentators, lurkers, who live in CH or know enough about Switzerland to form an opinion –whether you are Swiss or not–) please vote:
Who is your least favorite Federal Conselor?
Which Federal Conselors do you think might listen to our cause if we really got a chance to buttonhole them?
Parliamentary Elections are to be held this Fall , and the Federal Council will need to be reelected by Parliament thereafter:
Personally, I would vote for ZERO INCUMBENTS. Throw them all out!!! Anybody like to propose some exceptions to that rule and why??? Please comment to this article.
We need to start lobbying our neighbors in the lead-up to this election. It is still possible To Stand For Election to the National Council, the delay for the deposit of signatures is in August in some Cantons. The parties have probably all already decided who is on their lists, and it is unlikely that an independent would be elected.
And to the smiling Federal Counselors: all we need to enable a safe harbor rule while we’re waiting for our lawsuits to get moving is for you to issue an edict “Emergency law” blocking application for bone fide residents.
Personally, I dont think I agree with your bashing of the swiss government and direct democracy. They were facing the 700 lb gorilla and had no choice but to give in. Personally- I WISH that the rest of the world had such a healthy democracy and well-functioning government as the swiss do.
And in addition, I have heard all this hatred and criticism for the swiss banking secrecy laws. They originated during the 30s when it was imperative for people to get their wealth out of the hands of Hitler. Maybe the law was abused later, but tell me what excuse do the Americans have for all the nameless companies in Delaware which are allowed by law? The double standard, the finger-pointing- makes me absolutely nauseous. America should start cleaning up at home- especially if they are looking for lost tax revenue.
So I would prefer if you didn’t post this piece here.
The world didn’t have to give into the US. If the UK, Germany, Canada, Russia, and China said all legal residents and citizens are exempt from FATCA reporting, what could the US really do about it? Start withholding 30% from partner countries? A real partner country wouldn’t do that and be more reasonable.
The US is just a bully who when future events go against its behaviour won’t be forgotten.
Everybody is held captive by the dollar. Germany still remembers how the Great Depression in America made Germany poor and created fertile ground for the likes of Hitler. Everybody is trying to keep the american economy going for very personal reasons. So we are all the collateral damage.
@Polly – There is a differenvce. America is on the decline and China is on the up step by step. After WWII with the only functioning economy, how could the US not succeed? Times are different now.
@Polly Sorry if you think I am being too rough, but I am Swiss and I have every right to criticize and lampoon these people, especially the Federal Council who negotiated the IGA; and the 7 sages are not even elected by the people, but by Parliament. This is fine, the Constitution provides for their election in this manner. I just wish these people would stop smiling and grow a pair: protect their administrés in bone fide residence in CH, and apply FATCA only to cases akin to what started this mess (refer to the circa 2008 UBS scandal where UBS was actively soliciting homelanders to open undeclared accounts— something I will never approve of). But it is not for me to pay for the transgressions of the UBS!
This isn’t direct democracy at its best at all! The Federal Council and Parliament have accepted an IGA that isn’t even approved by the US Senate and enacted an enabling law that violates the enumeration of fundamental rights in the latest revision of the Swiss Federal Constitution which was re-voted by the Sovereign People in plebiscite in 1999.
I agree with what you said about the double standard, Delaware, etc. Banking Secrecy has protected the lives of many innocents even if it has been abused, the 1930s example that you give is an excellent one— yet it is USPs, ex-USPs and suspected ones that are now getting Nuremburg-Lawed out of existence.
The Swiss have also blocked dictator’s accounts and even sent money back to subsequent and perhaps more legitimate governments in some countries. Bank secrecy is an extension of the constitutional right to protection of the private sphere and analogous to the 4th Amendment, and I support it. To override bank secrecy a court order can be issued if justification is shown.
I didn’t knock bank secrecy in the article, and I didn’t bash direct democracy, I am blasting the failure to protect the rights of a significant minority of the people (estimated 40’000) and how unfair it is that these 7 sages get to zoom around and have fun this summer while we contemplate losing or livelihoods, our retirements, even our apartments, due to their inability and/or unwillingness to discern the difference between FATCAt tax cheats and the rest of us who are victims of the FATBARDT regime.
I expected much more from them, even if Switzerland is small, I expected a Swiss attention to detail. But we get only disappointment.
I agree but America`s economy is still the second biggest “motor” of the world. If that fails- who are the other countries going to sell their products to? We will ALL suffer.
They really had no choice. And I have never expected somebody else to suffer along with me if I met with dire circumstances, and they have not. So my mother dies but in another family a baby is born. They`ll celebrate. Yeah- empathy is good- but that doesn’t mean that they can`t go on vacation. I wouldn’t expect that of my best friend or family.
I have come to the conclusion that I just don`t matter that much. I fervently hope the legal cases win against unconstitutionality. Thats the only thing that can have any impact for this suffering.
@Polly – America in 1950 accounted for 50% of the world’s GDP vs. in 2015 it’s down to 19%. and shrinking because the rest of the world economy is getting bigger faster than the US. That’s why I think the US eventually is going to have to accept the world has changed.
Yes Sterling held on for decades as he reserve currency as the British Empire declined in the early 1900s, however, in the 2000s things move a bit quicker and the old rules no longer apply.
One day we’ll going to wake up and find Chinese money plays a much more significant role in the world without a shot ever been fired.
Yes- I see this coming too. In addition, concerning American “exceptionalism”- the reason America was the number one economy in 1950 was because the factories in Germany and Japan were in ruins. Bombed out. Today- you mostly see German and Japanese cars in the parking lots in front of american malls. Who would doubt that Germany makes better cars? Toyotas and Mazdas are wonderful cars too. They last and last. Very very few overseas would consider buying an American car anymore. And Japanese electronics have taken over the markets too. The factories have long been rebuilt and they are excellent. America had zero competition back then. The competition is overwhelming today. I just read somewhere in the progress being made in immunotherapy against cancer. Guess what? An israeli doctor discovered it. ( I just get soooooo disgusted by the haughty, totally conceited, posturing of America…..)
Leaders always have a choice as to obey the law and obey the rules upon which our cultures are founded, equality and rights for everyone, or to become cynical and allow financial considerations to rule. The choice that governments have made is to throw some citizens under the bus so that others, especially the banks, do not suffer for the bad investment decisions that they have made.
I can’t stand to see the smiling faces of the Harper government either. In fact I’d like to see them slapped off (metaphorically speaking) with a summary trial in August.
If not at trial… how about after the elections when some can & should get the heave-ho for being traitors… I can deal with that also…. another type of slap…
@Bubblebustin @Petros @US_Foreign My criticism of the Federal Council applies to every government that accepted an IGA and did not protect its bone fide residents and citizens. Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. These leaders shirked their responsibility, and that goes for all of the countries. And it goes for the entire government. For example, even if it was Widmer-Schlumpf who was in charge of the negotiations, it was up to the entire Council to ensure that what she did would not violate constitutional rights. We can sing “They don’t really care about us” referring to all the other governments as well. We’re too risky to stand up for, so they think, but if many of them had, it would have held.
I’m not sure where I just found this, maybe on a link at citizenship taxation or another of our sister websites. http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Ruth%20Mason.pdf
Interesting paper, it is marked “Draft, do not cite or circulate” but it is on the open Internet. I wonder if someone has a final version?
Maybe a few summary executions would be more to some’s liking. But that would be giving them more consideration than we got.
@Bubble, it is not like we didn’t warn them that if they accepted this crap our rights would be violated. They did it anyway. Who cares about a few thousand piss-ant middle and working class folks in CH or a few million in Canada, etc, etc. Oh and “its the law”: yeah have you read the Constitution?
I believe that we have been very clement. But the time for olive branch letters is waning, if you catch my drift. If these lawsuits don’t work, then up with the barricades!
@ Jefferson D. Tomas
The Ruth Mason draft paper was discussed a bit here:
Deckard’s comment is priceless. I believe he would have called it a daft paper. I’ve no idea if Ms. Mason has finalized her paper yet.
I still think the swiss government had a particularly tough position. It was the poster child for tax evasion. It would have been boycotted by the whole world and villanized and it would have isolated Switzerland from all the markets. I don`t think the government had a choice. HOWEVER – if Germany and France and Canada etc etc had opposed America`s pressure and they had all done this hand in hand, then I think it would have been possible to avert this law. As it is- teensy tiny Switzerland could not stand up to the monster power America alone. So what I am saying is that I have less understanding for Canada`s decision to play submit than little Switzerland, which had no allies seeing that everybody was pissed about their citizens hiding money there. Oh well- now they can all hide their money in Delaware. 🙁
@Polly Switzerland is not a small low-tax-for-foreigners jurisdiction like Monaco, Guernsey or the like [no offense to any one of these intended, just examples], it is a full-service country with industries, farms, service companies and families just trying to make a living. Switzerland had a plan to defend against Hitler invasion in the 40’s and thanks to General Guisan, nobody came. That is what I expected of the Swiss, defend their bone fide residents, defend their territory. If somebody from outside was hiding money here, then fine, report it to the US under FATCA, but check the situation first (maybe it is a political dissident who is in danger). Their failures will only fuel xenophobia on the part of the people in the future, also certainly directed against “USPs”.
I respectfully disagree. Switzerland is very small, it was a tax haven, it was envied and hated by many many countries and had no allies.
@Polly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zWSXzVN1Ac And yes, even if the narration is in High German, the General had a house in Pully, near Lausanne. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Guisan
I disagree with you. I have traveled as a Swiss Citizen throughout South America, Africa, even Asia, we were viewed by honest people as gentle folks that didn’t mean anybody harm.
Swiss engineering and engineering schools are respected the world over.
We are not viewed only and merely as a tax haven. Let us not cower but proclaim our neutrality to the world.
Switzerland, in its multicultural democracy, is the prototype of the EU, perhaps even the prototype of the US. But we have to enforce our ground rules: i.e. the Constitution. Otherwise we are lost.
Polly, we agree to disagree, oder?
Yes we will have to agree to disagree. Course principles are very important, but there are other considerations here too. In a way- it is like having a patient with gangrene of the foot. And without any other means of treatment, one has to cut the foot off to save the patient. I think this is what Switzerland had to do. That is looking at the situation from a non-egocentric viewpoint. Aside from my own problems – there are a couple million people who don`t want to starve either. So there were a lot of other people to save in the process too. We just have to look at what happened to the oldest bank in Switzerland. It was finished off.
As far as the popularity of swiss people goes while traveling – the swiss are known to be clean and honest and polite and not off the wall, loud, and obnoxious. Rather they are considered more conservative and quiet- pleasant tourists to be sure. So yeah- they are welcome guests in other countries. But nobody was very happy about their own country`s residents hiding accounts at UBS. Switzerland was supposed to be put on a black list and other countries were cheering at the time. Ask the french and the germans etc. how they feel about their citizens hiding money there. And these were the exact allies the Swiss would have needed and did not have. With all the propaganda that FATCA is supposed to “catch those bad tax cheats” – Switzerland had a very bad position in this drama. It was considered guilty from the get go. (Never mind that America has the biggest tax haven-the damage was done by the press.) Once again- the whole of Switzerland would have been shut down, and not just Wegelin, if they had not complied. And we just have to look at the rest of the world and their capitulation to see that Switzerland itself is not in bad company. Far bigger and stronger countries succumbed. Man- even China did! So I am not going to point a finger at Bern and say “You are assholes” when they really did not have any choice, IMHO. I can also imagine that they tried to negotiate a better deal but the Americans felt righteous- the crusaders for right versus wrong in this world (gag) – and were not to open for any arguments or compromise.
But I guess what I am trying to say is this: committing suicide is not always the best decision when facing adversity. One can try to uphold the principles of a nation, but perhaps it might be better to fight for them at a later date than to commit harakiri right then. In the meantime I am sure there are many many people who are hoping that the Bopp case will succeed.
There used to be a marionette show on two Swiss-French stations that was much like “les guignols de l’info” in France, but it didn’t last long, apparently was too expensive– and I think I heard the other day that “les guignols” is discontinued as well. The title of the Swiss one was “The Buffoons of the Confederation”. I seem vaguely to remember that there was an episode with Widmer-Schlumpf’s puppet dressed up as a witch, but I can’t find it.
The characters were not just Federal Council members but also other well-known politicians.
Here is an example
And at least the Federal Court says we are allowed to call people buffoons Traiter quelqu’un de «bouffon» n’est pas injurieux
I think that started as an english tradition. There was a publication called “Punch” once upon a time that was full of political satire. 🙂
@Polly yes and there was also a Portuguese version of “Les Guignols” lambasting Portuguese politicians.
Here, the Witch of Gray Confederation: Sorcière des Grisons: she makes her appearance about 10:00.