terça-feira, 6 de maio de 2014

Thomas Piketty: «Our manifesto for Europe»

  • «It is time to recognise that Europe's existing institutions are dysfunctional and need to be rebuilt. The central issue is simple: democracy and the public authorities must be enabled to regain control of and effectively regulate 21st century globalised financial capitalism. A single currency with 18 different public debts on which the markets can freely speculate, and 18 tax and benefit systems in unbridled rivalry with each other, is not working, and will never work. The eurozone countries have chosen to share their monetary sovereignty, and hence to give up the weapon of unilateral devaluation, but without developing new common economic, fiscal and budgetary instruments. This no man's land is the worst of all worlds. (...)
  • Concretely, our first proposal is that the eurozone countries, starting with France and Germany, share their corporate income tax (CIT). Alone, each country is hoodwinked by the multinationals of every country, which play on the loopholes and differences between national legislations to avoid paying tax anywhere. National sovereignty has thus become a myth. To fight against this "tax optimisation", a sovereign European authority needs to be given the power to establish a common tax base that is as broad as possible and strictly regulated. Each country might then continue to set its own CIT rate on this common base, with a minimum rate of around 20%, and with an additional rate on the order of 10% to be levied at the federal level. This would make it possible to give the eurozone a real budget, on the order of 0.5% to 1% of GDP. (...)
  • To approve the tax base for the CIT, and more generally to discuss and adopt the fiscal, financial and political decisions on what is to be shared in the future in a democratic and sovereign fashion, we must establish a parliamentary chamber for the eurozone. Here too we join our German friends from the Glienicke group, though they hesitate between two options: either a eurozone parliament consisting of the members of the European parliament from the countries concerned (a sub-formation of the European parliament reduced to the eurozone countries), or a new chamber based on grouping a portion of the members of the national parliaments (eg 30 French MPs from the National Assembly, 40 members from the German Bundestag, 30 Italian deputies etc, based on the population of each country, according to a simple principle: one citizen, one vote). (...) It is impossible to completely deprive the national parliaments of their power to set taxes. (...)
  • We are convinced that the only way to put this definitively behind us is to pool the debts of the eurozone countries. Otherwise speculation on interest rates will renew again and again. It is also the only way for the European Central Bank to conduct an effective and responsive monetary policy, as does the US Federal Reserve (which would also be hard pressed to do its job properly if every morning it had to arbitrate between the debts of Texas, Wyoming and California). The pooling of debt has de facto already begun with the European Stability Mechanism, the emerging banking union and the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions programme, which already affect the taxpayers of the eurozone to one extent or another. (...)» (Thomas Piketty e outros)

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