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Short-Sighted On EU Expansion

Short-Sighted On EU Expansion

A grim Norbert Lammert, president of the German Bundestag, frowns narrowly from Der Spiegel’s online edition into a point somewhere in mid-distance. The headline: “Lammert Proposes to Suspend EU Enlargement.” The EU has “to take the latest report very seriously,” he said on 13 October. “Croatia is obviously not ready for EU membership… I don’t […]

Hidden Prosperity In the CEE

Hidden Prosperity In the CEE

What do countries as different as Slovakia, Moldova, Slovenia and Estonia have in common? In the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index, published by the London-based Legatum Institute, these four made the biggest leap forward among European countries, raising the prosperity of their citizens in the eyes of the index’s analysts. There are numerous charts that try […]

Victory Over the Liberals

Victory Over the Liberals

The European Central Bank will now place an unlimited amount of money at the disposal of struggling member states. However, this artificial money supply will not deliver the solution to economic problems it promises. As an older colleague used to say, in life, being right is little more than a consolation prize. At a conference […]

Austria gets AAA despite rise in unemployment

Austria gets AAA despite rise in unemployment

The U.S.-based rating agency Moody’s has confirmed Austria’s AAA rating, despite an overall negative economic outlook for Europe. The triple-A verdict is based on Austrian unemployment being the lowest in the European Union, and the overall strength of its economy, retaining strong growth rates compared with most of its European counterparts. However, Austria is also […]

Uniting Europe, One Case at a Time

Uniting Europe, One Case at a Time

The Eurode Business Center is perched right on the border between Germany and the Netherlands, in the towns of Herzogenrath and Kerkrade. Built in 2001, the building was meant to demonstrate the necessities, possibilities, and difficulties involved in cross-border relations in the new “borderless” EU. Today, 11 years later, it still takes a week to […]

Expatriated: Leaving the Land of the Free

Expatriated: Leaving the Land of the Free

Since 1996, the United States Treasury has been required to publish a quarterly list of people who give up citizenship or permanent residency. The process, undertaken by 1,800 people in 2011, is called expatriation. With the U.S. elections coming up in November, one issue on Americans’ minds home and abroad is taxes: Who should be […]

Taxing the Middle

Taxing the Middle

Austria has clinched a tax repatriation deal with Switzerland [see Austria Briefs, p. 4, TVR May 2012]. Honesty Is Not Rewarded, 18 April by Josef Urschitz Once again, honest tax payers… are the idiots. Any high earner would choose to be taxed at 15–38% – the rates for a one-off taxation of Swiss accounts in […]

Tax deal with Switzerland

Tax deal with Switzerland

On Friday 13 April, Austria clinched a deal with Switzerland that will see Austrians’ secret accounts in the country taxed from 2013, Reuters reported. The agreement came as a relief to Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter, who had been criticised for pre-maturely including a €1 billion tax windfall from Swiss accounts in the government’s savings […]

The EU’s Fiscal Mavericks

This month, 25 of the 27 EU member states are signing a new fiscal compact to place effective limits on budget deficits. The era of running huge debt against anticipated export returns will be over. The compact will be one of the EU’s more successful policies, but 25 out of 27 is not consensus. If […]

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