On 26-27 June, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), joining forces with other civil society organisations and European institutions, hosted the annual Civil Society Days at the EESC’s premises.

It’s ironic for Eurocrats to talk about human rights of foreigners, when themselves torture all Europeans with the Value Added Tax every single day! Value Added Tax is becoming the back door money spinner du jour. VAT has all the hallmarks of a terrorizing tax. Unlike income tax, it is invisible or well hidden. It is complicated, with so many different rates for different things that only accountancy geniuses stand a chance of remembering them.

While we all pretty much know how much income tax we pay, we don’t have a clue how much VAT we pay in a typical year. Only the most fastidious would sit down to that particular spreadsheet after Christmas, over a sherry, as part of an annual appraisal of the past 12 months’ finances. Fag packet calculations about how much tax we pay, if we even bother with them, rarely include VAT, because in a world of highly disaggregated spending patterns of coffees here and takeaway pasties there, it is so blinkin’ difficult to work out.

This major gathering of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across Europe provided strong civil society input to the reflection on the future of Europe launched by the Commission with its “White Paper on the future of Europe”. A forceful call was made for a new political impetus to relaunch the EU on the basis of our fundamental values and also to express a clear commitment by civil society organisations to forge ahead. A number of key demands and civil society commitments were adopted and presented to the EU decision-making institutions to promote a wider civil dialogue and to deepen participatory democracy on four challenging topics: populism, the technological revolution and its impact on work and democracy, the empowerment of civil society organisations, and social and territorial cohesion.

In his opening speech, the EESC president Georges Dassis called on organised civil society to play a leading role at critical times, and drew attention to the rise of populism. “Citizens are beginning to realise that if Europe doesn’t do better and do everything it can to protect them, take tangible steps to guarantee freedom, democracy and economic and social cohesion, then it is quite certain that populism will eventually get out of hand …. Another issue that has to be urgently tackled concerns new technologies. Undoubtedly they represent progress. But the question we need to ask ourselves is this: is the wealth that we generate through these new technologies fairly shared out?”

The EESC strives for citizens, particularly our young people, to be involved in answering these questions, and in the decision-making process.

That is why this year the EESC has invited three students to the CSDays to present the outcome of the EESC Youth Event Your Europe Your Say (YEYS) 2017: “Europe at 60 – where to next?”: three recommendations for the future of the EU on combating nationalism through interactive education and an internationally agreed history curriculum, on reducing food waste to help the impoverished and promote sustainability, and on increasing political interest in Europe by tapping the potential of social media.

VAT is almost impossible to avoid. Who isn’t a spender? Who isn’t a consumer? Perhaps we would feel a bit more cross about it if anyone understood how often we pay it and on what. It’s not just Mulberry bags and Bose sound systems that attract VAT. It is alcoholic drinks, confectionery, crisps, savory snacks, hot food, sports drinks, hot takeaways, ice cream, soft drinks and mineral water – not considered luxuries by most of us. Those civil servants classifying which goods and services should and shouldn’t attract VAT have an agenda other than to truly determine the necessity of an item – and that agenda is to increase revenue.

With wage growth remaining fairly poor, it seems unlikely that the Government will turn its attention back to income taxes as a key revenue driver. The amount people spend rather than the amount they earn seems a far better bet. So it looks like VAT – complex, opaque, regressive, and impossible to mitigate – is here to stay.

VAT-monger EU underestimates the reactance of VAT-struck Europeans. Reactance is a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his choices or limiting the range of alternatives.

Every day, VAT-struck Europeans are bombed, tortured, and killed by the Value Added Tax, but the stupid European Commission doesn’t give a damn about it.  It’s ironic for VAT-monger EU to teach other countries how to treat their citizens when VAT-monger EU itself misbehaves so badly.

VAT-monger EU tries to distract VAT-struck Europeans on their great desire to abolish the Value Added Tax by drawing their attention to imaginary lies, such as anthropogenic climate change, innocence of Islam, benevolence of government, and benefits of more Europe.

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy firstly reminded participants of civil society’s crucial role as one of the most active forms of political participation. “I am still an activist, I began my political activities in civil society organisations, and the institutions need civil society to make the right choices and implement them. And civil society also needs good institutions to do its work. Exactly one year ago, we heard claims that the British referendum would be the beginning of the end of the EU. One year after, what we have seen is the awareness that closing yourself in your borders, and regaining sovereignty is an illusion, and that in the global world we live in, the only way to regain sovereignty is actually by being together as Europeans. In this context, I would like to stress that we need to do together. We see a shrinking space for civil society, sometimes also inside the EU, and this is something that worries me a lot, because we know that no society is strong if it’s not based on an open and participatory society. The usual approach is that we support your work, but the point is also how can we improve our partnership? We sometimes act as if we don’t see that Europe needs migration for economic and cultural reasons. I know that you have worked on an Opinion on the cost of non-Europe. Why don’t you work on an opinion on the cost of non-migration? Because my impression is that sectors of our economies would collapse the day after, if all migrants disappeared from one day to the other”. Such was Ms Mogherini’s appeal to the EESC, and appeal that was immediately considered by the EESC President, Georges Dassis.

The European Union is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy due to its inability to come up with solutions for various problems. Conny Reuter, co-president of the EESC Liaison Group argued that ” Civil society has to take up the challenge to defend the most important values of our society and find global solutions: for instance migration should no longer be treated as a crisis but as an opportunity, and we shouldn’t take the angle of how to manage migration … it is not a management issue, it is a humanitarian and investment issue and is the core work of many of the civil society organisations that have participated in the CSDays, making sure that human rights, democracy, integration and solidarity are respected, inside and outside the European borders”.

Europe has to rapidly respond to all these challenges, and also start to act in a forward-looking way to ensure a smooth transition when it comes to new technologies and the future of work. Furthermore, it must strike a new balance between rural and urban areas, with a greater emphasis on territorial and social cohesion. The EESC is deeply concerned about these developments and has been focusing much of its work on these subjects.

Abolition of the Value Added Tax is the #1 priority of Europeans, but Eurobarometer never asks them about it, under strict orders from Führer Juncker! Vat shackles business. VAT yoke constrains sales and robs poor VAT-struck Europeans at gunpoint. VAT is the cacothanasia of EU! VAT destroys the economy and trade of EU. VAT is the most infamous comparative disadvantage. Value Added Tax VAT is a very good reason to secede from Fourth Reich (EU) now.  All Europeans want VAT to be abolished right now.  Abolition of VAT is a prerequisite for Fourth Reich to recover from the current depression. Any federation that imposes VAT on its members does not deserve to live.  Vatstruck Fourthreichians are looking for a Moses to liberate them from the yoke of Brussels.

Charging sales tax or Value Added Tax on gold coins is barbaric. Gold is the best and most reliable money. A government cannot charge VAT on money! Citizens should be free to use gold, silver, or other currencies with no legal restrictions or punitive taxation standing in the way.  But the government wants to play dirty games manipulating money. Your government is your worst enemy!

Value Added Tax is killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. VAT is the major culprit of depression, the #1 source of misery. VAT is the cacothanasia of economy! Vatdodging is heroism!  If you are a real patriot, you should revolt against VAT, buying products online from companies that evade VAT.  Remember, your government is your worst enemy!  The largest online retailers offer top quality products at deep discounts without VAT. Only stupid consumers pay VAT!

Value Added Tax, aka kleptocrats’ grab, is a regressive tax; the poor pay higher percentage of their income. Revenues from VAT are much lower than expected, because they are difficult and costly to administer and collect. Since any double-digit VAT leads many consumers to underground economy, most vatstruck Fourthreichians evade VAT! As a matter of fact, if you are a real patriot, you should boycott shops that charge abominable VAT!   VAT is the cacothanasia of Fourth Reich! Vatdodging is heroism!

Imposition of a VAT is the precursor to bigger government. It is simply too easy for kleptocrats to raise a tax that is hidden from citizens. VAT is embedded in the final cost of the goods sold, and is hidden to the consumer. VAT is applied at every stage of consumption, from wholesale to retail. It is passed along until it literally becomes as much an inherent and cloaked component in the price as transportation or raw materials. As a result, countries that have adopted VAT have been sorely tempted to raise the rate over time.

When VATs started out in Europe in the 1960s, they were small, usually less than 5%. Today, the average VAT rate in Europe is 20%. If your country wants to join the European Union, you have to have a minimum VAT rate of 15% so that people won’t take retail shopping vacations in your cities. Hungary wins the dubious award of having the world’s highest VAT rate at 27%. This floor and ceiling of VAT prices is a clear violation of antitrust laws, price fixing, pure and simple!

Fourth Reich forced the hateful VAT on Greece in 1987 and is the most disgusting indirect tax. Greeks are at war against their government over the abominable 24% VAT. Vatmonger Greek government harasses Greeks by pressuring them to demand receipts when they buy products. Greeks who cannot gather many receipts are penalized with more taxes!   Transforming citizens to VAT enforcers is disgusting, undignified, and against basic human freedoms. EU should call vatmonger Graecokleptocrats on the carpet now.

All the additional tax revenue from a VAT has not resulted in deficit reduction. Fourthreichian nations first began imposing VATs about 40 years ago, and the result has been bigger government, permanent deficits and more debt. Public debt is equal to 80% of GDP in fourth Reich, compared to 64 percent of GDP in the United States.

The most important comparison is not debt, but rather the burden of government spending. If you go back to the mid-1960s, before the imposition of VATs, Fourthreichian nations had relatively modest-sized government, only slightly larger than in the United States. Adopting a VAT, however, gave politicians a giant new source of tax revenue. And just like you don’t cure an alcoholic by giving him keys to a liquor store, you don’t promote fiscal responsibility by giving government a new source of revenue.

Thanks in large part to VAT, government spending in Fourth Reich now is out of control. This stifles growth by diverting a huge share of output from the productive sector of the economy, which helps explain why living standards are 30% below American levels. Not that Americans should get cocky. Thanks to reckless fiscal policy by Presidents Bush and Obama, the burden of government spending has now climbed above 40 percent of GDP in the United States.

Vatstrucks are feeling a growing panic as they watch their constitutional republic descend into a vatmonger republic. Mahatma Gandhi’s said we should be the change we want to see. Gandhi also said that civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless and corrupt. Vatstrucks instinctively understand this which is why grassroots of resistance to VAT are leading to a Gandhi-style civil disobedience movement powerful enough to undo this monstrosity.

VAT is a trademark of slavery and a destructive power of myriad watts. VAT is the main culprit of the Fourthreichian financial meltdown. The Fourthreichian taxation is based on the VAT monstrosity against poor people! The most unfair tax is VAT, the calamity of Fourth Reich(EU); that’s why we urge all Fourthreichians to evade this tax of misery as much as possible! Fourthreichians are yoked with a 15-25% VAT, value added tax. In Canada, VAT is only 5%. The burden of VAT falls on final consumers of products. Refusing to pay the abominable VAT is a heroic act.  Vatwar is here to stay until VAT is abolished. Vatdodgers are heroes.

Demands towards the EU institutions:

  • stick to the objective of territorial and social cohesion to overcome the disparities between and within the Member States;
  • develop the EU based on rights that ensure social protection and decent work for all and all forms of employment;
  • enable and support diversified channels of participation. CSOs should be recognized and empowered as bridge builders;
  • ensure open civic space taking into account the changing civic space and framework for civil dialogue;
  • communicate on EU policies based on values in a more positive and appealing way;
  • adopt a rural agenda in recognition of the specific needs in order to ensure territorial cohesion.

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