Tag: Czech Republic

Europe Votes … For Something

The results are in after the Europeans voted in elections for the European Parliament.  But while they were voting for the European Parliament, they largely voted on national issues.  Ruling parties in Britain and Hungary were blasted.  The Spanish ruling party took a hit. Anti-immigration candidates in Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Austria did well.  Ruling conservative governments in France, Italy, and Germany (in coalition) also prospered – after stealing the interventionist economic policies of their opponents.

Particularly noteworthy is the continuing fall in voter turnout.  Barely 43 percent showed up at the polls last week.  The Eurocratic elite is worried, as they should be.  As decision-making increasingly flows to Brussels, and to unelected institutions in Brussels, people perceive government to be less accountable.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus observed earlier this year:  “There is no European demos – and no European nation.” Alas, the divide between governed and governors is only going to increase if the Irish people ultimately approve the Lisbon Treaty, which further consolidates power in Brussels.  It is a worrisome trend for anyone concerned about liberty, as I discuss in a new article on American Spectator online.

Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg Defend Financial Privacy…and Get Support from the Czech Republic

The Birmingham Star reports on how Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg are defending their human rights policies of protecting financial privacy:

Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria are fighting attempts to put them on blacklist for being tax havens and over-secretive in banking rules. Luxembourg officials hosted discussions with the Swiss and Austrian finance ministers over the weekend, resulting in a demand for involvement in talks on the issue prior to the G20 summit next month. Luxembourg treasury officials said the small European group wanted to be involved in the debates about bank secrecy which were currently being discussed in meetings to which they did not belong, such as the G20.

Equally important, the Czech Republic is standing up for the sovereign right of jurisdictions to have strong human rights laws. The Finance Minister correctly explains that Switzerland’s laws should not be sacrificed on the altar of bigger government. The EU Business reports:

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg defended Switzerland on Sunday against threats by EU member states to put it on a tax haven blacklist, saying sovereignty is “worth more” than lost taxes. “Certainly tax coffers here and there miss out on a couple of million euros… The independence of a country and the traditions of an independent, neutral Switzerland is however worth more than that,” Schwarzenberg said. “Why must one spoil that at all cost?” he added in an interview with the Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag. The Czech Republic holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, and Switzerland has come under intense pressure in recent months over its banking secrecy laws.