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EU Extortionists

The Washington Times

Imagine you own a successful business, and you have a much larger and less efficient competitor. Your inefficient competitor has demanded you make payments to him or he will pressure your suppliers to stop doing business with you. I have just described classic criminal extortion, as now conducted by some governments in the European Union.

In the above example, substitute: France, Germany and Italy for the "inefficient competitor;" smaller, low tax jurisdictions for the "successful business;" global financial institutions for "suppliers;" and coerced taxes and information for "payments." Now you begin to understand what is going on.

On July 1, the controversial European tax savings directive took effect. This requires 25 EU members and 15 other countries and independent territories to institute an automatic information exchange system. This would require financial institutions to report to the citizen's home country any interest earned outside that country. Or countries may withhold taxes on interest income at a rate that will rise to 35 percent.

Continue Reading at The Washington Times

Richard Rahn

Richard W. Rahn is an economist, syndicated columnist, and entrepreneur. He was a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute. Currently, he is Chairman of Improbable Success Productions and the Institute for Global Economic Growth. He was the Vice President and Chief Economist of the United States Chamber of Commerce during the Reagan Administration and remains a staunch advocate of supply-side economics, small government, and classical liberalism.