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Almost a year ago, the French constitutional court ruled against Francois Hollande’s triumphal blast into socialist wealth redistribution, with his proposed 75% tax rate on high earners, and so indefinitely delayed the exodus of the bulk of French high earners (even if some, like Obelix, aka Gerard Depardieu, promptly made their way to the country that has become the land of solace for all oppressed people everywhere, Russia) into more tax-hospitable climes. That delay is now over, when earlier today the same court approved a 75% tax on all those earning over €1 million. The proposal passed after the government modified it to make employers liable for the 75% tax. As BBC reports, the levy will last two years, affecting income earned this year and in 2014.
And with the tax passage, the preparations for an exodus by all high earnings begin, first among the local football teams. BBC reports:
Football clubs in France went on strike earlier this year over the issue, saying many of France’s clubs are financially fragile and say the plans could spark an exodus of top players who are paid huge salaries.
The Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain has more than 10 players whose pay exceeds 1m euros, including the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
There has also been a chorus of protest from businesses and wealthy individuals who have condemned the tax – including film star Gerard Depardieu, who left the country in protest.
Polls suggest a large majority in France back the temporary tax.
Unlike many other countries in Europe, France aims to bring down its huge public deficit by raising taxes as well as some spending cuts. The highest tax rate in the UK is 45% and is applied to individuals.
While the numerous unintended consequences of this shock and awe tax hike will be amusing to watch in real time as this move will almost certainly be the long-awaited catalyst to push France into its long-predicted recession (to the benefit of countries like Belgium where the French uber-rich are already relocating to), one wonders if the drop in the value of French ultra-high end real estate will be offset by the soaring valuations of London’s already “beyond housing bubble” home prices, and just what the local response will be now that domestic real estate is even more inaccessible to anyone but the wealthiest global oligarchs and billionaires (aside from the capital gains tax of course, which as we wrote previously, is about to be launched first in London, and then everywhere else).
French President Warns Of Immediate Military Intervention Hours After Reporting Soaring Unemployment | Zero Hedge
While we are sure it is just a coincidence that hours after his nation reports record and soaring unemployment rates, French President Hollande announces a doubling of troops in Central African Republic (CAR) deciding to “intervene immediately” after the UN authorization, adding “this intervention will be quick. It has no vocation to last and I’m sure it will be a success,”
- *FRANCE HAS DUTY TO INTERVENE, HOLLANDE SAYS
- *HOLLANDE SAYS CENTRAL AFRICA MASSACRES CONTINUING
- *HOLLANDE SAYS SITUATION CENTRAL AFRICA `ALARMING, FRIGHTENING’
The US State Department “welcomes France’s decision to reinforce its military presence,” adding that, the US is “appalled by today’s reports of the murder of innocent women and children outside of Bangui.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be the modern-day war without drones, and as IB Times reports, a fleet of five unarmed drones will help U.N. troops monitor the vast Central African country of 66 million people, which has been plagued by violent militias for decades.
Hollande… (via DPA),
French President Francois Hollande said Thursday he had decide to intervene “immediately” in the Central African Republic, after the United Nations authorized an intervention by African and French forces.
France would double its current troop deployment of 600 “within a few days, if not a few hours,” Hollande said in an address from the Elysee Palace.
“This intervention will be quick. It has no vocation to last and I’m sure it will be a success,” he said, pledging to regularly brief the nation on its progress.
Hollande emphasized that France would be acting “together with Africans and the support of European partners” and assured that the country has “no other objective than to save human lives.”
From the US State Dept.
The United States remains committed to supporting the international community’s efforts to find a solution that protect civilians, restores security, ensures greater humanitarian access, and puts CAR on a path back to democratic governance.
Drone use raises questions…(Via IB Times),
“Such high-technology systems allow a better knowledge of what is happening on the ground, which allows a force to better do its job,” said Hervé Ladsous, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
But there are some concerns about the U.N. drone program’s transparency and regulatory framework. “Congo is in many ways a laboratory for U.N. peacekeepers with a range of equipment and a range of experiments being used,” said Phil Clark, a political professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, to Deutsche Welle. “But I think there are big questions here. Such as, what is it like for a non-state actor to use drones and this type of equipment, what kind of information will it be gathering, who exactly will have access to that information and what will they do with it and so I think we need a lot more clarity from the U.N. as to exactly how these drones will be used.”
As the Keynesian train rolls on, when all else fails, declare war… all that non-deflatinary ammunition production and waste…
French president tells Israeli MPs that such a situation would be a threat to Israel and a threat to the region.
Last updated: 19 Nov 2013 10:15
Hollande reaffirmed his commitment to the two-state solution despite Israeli settlement building [AFP]
|Francois Hollande, the French president, has told Israeli MPs that his country would not allow Iran to secure a nuclear weapon, saying that such a situation was a threat to Israel and the region.
To loud applause inside the Israeli parliament, Hollande said: “We have nothing against Iran, or its people, but we cannot allow Iran to get nuclear arms as it is a threat to Israel and the region.”
“We will maintain the sanctions as long as we are not certain that Iran has definitively renounced its military programme.”
Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Jerusalem, said Hollande’s “words were music to Israeli ears”.
On a future state of Palestine, Hollande told the Israeli parliament that Jerusalem must be the future capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.
“France’s position is known: a negotiated settlement, with the state of Israel and the state of Palestine both having Jerusalem as capital, coexisting in peace and security,” he said.
Israel seized and occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war and later illegally annexed it. It views the entire city as its “eternal and indivisible capital”.
He had earlier called for a complete halt to Israel’s illegally building settlements on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
Speaking on his first official visit to the Palestinian territories, Hollande said that settlement construction was problematic for peace negotiations, which have been limping along for more than three months with little sign of progress.
“France demands a full and complete halt to settlement activity,” he said in Ramallah in a joint news conference with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas.
“Settlement activity complicates the negotiations and makes it difficult to achieve a two-state solution,” Hollande said.
Since Israeli and Palestinian negotiators returned to the table at the end of July, Israel has made several announcements of thousands of new settler homes, angering the Palestinian negotiators. The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has recently said those activities were to be suspended.
Over seven million European people aged between 15-24 are neither in work, education or training [Reuters]
|Heads of state of 24 European nations have met to discuss rising unemployment among European youths, insisting that the situation will improve over the next two years.
The leaders, who met in Paris on Tuesday, announced no new programmes but pledged to push plans already in place to reverse the rising joblessness for the under 25’s.
With budgets still tight and austerity measures in place, Europe’s youth unemployment rate stands at 23.5 percent, up from 23.1 percent a year ago.
A total of 7.5 million aged 15 to 24 are neither in work, education or training.
Europe has 45 billion euros ($60b) between 2013 and 2015 to tackle youth unemployment.
French President Francois Hollande said the meeting had set a strategy to ensure that by 2015, no youth will spend more than four months unemployed without being offered a job, an apprenticeship, training or education.
“We must act quickly because it is urgent, we cannot abandon a generation,” Hollande said at a news conference.
Hollande said the leaders agreed that European Union nations which have action plans to combat youth unemployment by the end of the year will begin drawing upon the 6 billion euro ($8bn) Youth Employment Initiative that the EU has set aside beginning on January 1.
As of 2011, only 34 percent of 15-29 year-olds in Europe were employed, the lowest figure ever recorded.
However, the EU employment figure masks huge disparities. Germany’s youth unemployment rate stands at 7.7 percent whilst Greece’s is 57.3 percent.
Seven EU countries had a youth jobless rate over 30 percent, fueling concern that a generation of people will be locked out of the job market, hurting long-term growth prospects for their nations.
One EU think-tank estimated that the cost to Europe of employing so few of its young people reached 153 billion euros annually as of 2011.
Simon Black-Sovereign Man (source/link)
At our workshop in Chile some months ago, European MEP Nigel Farage blasted French President Francois Hollande as leading the pack “in the modern day Pantheon of idiots who are running countries around the world…”
You can see Nigel’s scathing remarks below, about 35 seconds in to the clip: (see link above)
Of course, the French president had recently introduced a ‘hate tax’ on its countries most successful people, driving out whatever few productive people remain in France.
But this hate tax was just the tip of le iceberg.
Just look at what they’ve done or announced just in the last month:
Double the corporate surtax
It’s not enough that France has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. On top of this, they have a corporate ‘surtax’, or a tax on top of the tax.
And earlier this month, they announced plans to DOUBLE it.
Increase reporting obligations
Anyone who has ever started a business knows that a new business is like a newborn baby. It’s critical to focus on growth, not on filling out a bunch of paperwork.
The French government doesn’t care about this. So they’ve recently LOWERED the bar for reporting obligations, requiring a businesses with top-line revenue of just 80,000 euros to submit time consuming and onerous VAT reports to the tax authorities.
Increased pension tax
France has one of the most bankrupt… and unsustainably generous… pension systems in the world.
But rather than completely overhauling the system and expect people to, you know, actually work past the age of 55, they’ve just decided to raise the pension tax. Again.
Energy drink tax
Not to be outdone by Michael Bloomberg’s soda tax in New York City, the French National Assembly has recently proposed to tax energy drinks… as much as ONE EURO ($1.37) per can.
Higher property taxes
Last month, the French government announced plans to revise property value assessments across the country, which serves as the basis for a number of property taxes.
Data tax [my personal favorite]
You can’t make this stuff up.
In one of the most absurd tax propositions in history, the French government now has the idea that they should tax data transfers outside the European Union.
They actually plan on proposing this at this week’s European Summit. Strangely, though, they don’t seem to even understand what this means. They’re just so desperate to tax something… anything. They’re just monkeys throwing darts at the wall right now.
And they’re getting ready for more.
Earlier this year, the French government promised a ‘tax pause’ in 2014, suggesting that they would not raise taxes next year.
Last month, though, they revised this pledge, saying that the tax pause would take effect in 2015 instead.
Needless to say, there will be no pause in 2015.
Why? Because France is broke. Like so many other nations across the West, France has been rendered completely insolvent by decades of unsustainable spending.
France has been in this position before. In the 18th century, the French Bourbon monarchy was the pinnacle of civilization.
Yet decades of unsustainable spending took their toll on the economy. They tried everything– raising taxes, debasing the currency… yet their was no avoiding the inevitable. Revolution.
And this period of turmoil, from the time the French people stormed the Bastille, to the time when calm prevailed, took 26-years.
In the meantime, they had internal civil war, external war against both Austria and Prussia, hyperinflation, and the genocidal dictatorship of Robespierre.
Conditions are similar now, both in France and across the West. This includes the Land of the Free.
We have reached a time where it’s imperative to look abroad at different options and opportunities. Clinging to blind patriotism– staying home, doing nothing, and trusting your government– is akin to taking a toaster into the bathtub.
Wealth and power have constantly shifted throughout history. And the transitions are rarely smooth or peaceful. It’s foolish to assume that this time is any different.
- 70 million phone calls in France recorded in one month by NSA, new report claims. French government demands immediate explanation to “shocking” revelations (12160.info)
- France to Beef Up Its Exit Tax (nationalreview.com)
- Obama calls French president amid spying concerns (wtvm.com)
- Wealthy, ambitious youth flee French taxes… (telegraph.co.uk)