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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Economy Minister LeMaire +EU Commissioner Vestager: with GAFA Tax =EU Sovereignity+Technology

French Economy Minister LeMaire +EU Commissioner Vestager: with GAFA Tax =EU Sovereignity+Technology

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- An exceptional and well attended EU Parliament's joint Hearing from its Economic and Monetary as well as Tax Fraud/Evasion and Financial Crime Committees, followed by a Citizens' Consultation event, Together with EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, at the prestigious Strasbourg's Town Hall, (there where CoE had been Created by European Heads of State/Goverments 70 Years ago), offered a Timely Opportunity for the Young but already Experienced French Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, (former EU affairs and later Agriculture Minister, etc),  a key Political Ally of President Emmanuel Macron, to Strongly Urge for EU Decisions at the forthcoming December 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, to Tax the Big Rich Companies exploiting Internet services, and making Fortunes of Billions € by harvesting European Peuple's Data free of charge : all Foreign and all American, such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) etc.  

 

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A quite Popular Idea at this Side of the Atlantic Ocean, but also facing some Concerns by certain EU Member States, so that its Final, Total and Prompt Adoption of all those relevant Measures wouldn't seem obvious to everybody, as Debates with several Positive, but also hesitaht MEPs revealed...

 

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But Bruno Le Maire, backed by EU Commissioner Vestager, Highlighted an even Stronger Inventive, apparently able to Boost Wider Support even among those currently hesitating : Such a demonstration of EU's Financial Sovereignity, could and should also Help to settle another Big Issue in nowadays Global Digital landscape : To Develop, in parallel, a much Needed European Giants' Industry of brand New Digital Products at the World Wide Web, by mastering Modern Key Technologies !


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- When even our European SMEs, Craftsmen, Independent Workers, etc., are Taxed sometimes from 12% up to 25%, but the Global US Giant Company "Google" doesn't pay, practically, No Taxes, f.ex. while based in Ireland, it's Not Acceptable !, he Criticized, applauded by several People.


-"Don't be Afraid !", he vigouresly launched to Sympathizers, after some Other Critics (f.ex. a MEP) had found Pretext in certain Other EU Member States' alleged Hesitations, in order to make Pessimist Predictions for that Project to Tax GAFAs.


+ "I Won't Stop !", vowed Bruno Le Maire, Adding that, for Europe, to "Be Sovereign, is Also to have Our Own Technologies", in order to Build "an Industrial Plan" for EU Member Countries, "All Together", as he highlighted.


- For that purpose, we (EU) must Attract the Best Researchers, Invest, and Coooperate, the key French Minister resumed in a nutshell.


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++ And, Then, "if we (EU) Open up", in International Trade, concerning Digital/Internet products, "they (mainly the USA's Big Companies) Must Open" too !, stressed EU Commissioner Vestager.


Vestager has Recently become World Famous for having dared ask "Google" to pay considerable Taxes from the Profits it makes in Europe.


- "I am Not for a Trade War", ensured Le Maire. But, "I believe in Solidarity between European Businesses", and in the "European Preference !", he added, pointing, f.ex., at the use of French-European "QWant" Search Engine, etc.. (While some still Remember that Good European Search-Engine "All The Web", which was finally Bought by USA's "Yahoo", and "killed" by simply incorporating it partly in its own engine)...


- Meanwhile, f.ex. for "the Protection of (personal) Data", the key French Minister pleaded for "a European Way" to do such things, which would be "Not the American Way", "Neither the Chinese way", as he said.


- To those MEPs who claimed that there were still Obstacles inside EU Council, citting f.ex. Ireland (where "Google" and/or "Apple" for Europe are Headquartered, etc), and/or Germany, allegedly "afraid that the USA may react by Taxing their Car Exports", etc, he calmly Replied by reminding that he was in favor of a close Franco-German Cooperation in main EU affairs, pleading for a Joint Position "at the End of the Year" 2018, as well as that he had "Spoken about that with Wolfgang Schäuble", (ChristianDemocrat/EPP,when he still was Minister for Financial affairs, before becoming, recently, President of the Bundestag : See ..., etc), and that the new German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, (Socialist), would be now favourable to GAFA's Tax. For that purpose, he plans to Visit Germany and even Ireland, (with which he said that a Solution meeting its real, legitimate interests, could be found).


Obviously, by Highlighting the prospect to build a European Digital Industry, Germany may be more Motivated to play the game... Chancellor Angie Merkel, (as well as a lot of Mainsream German Medias), had already shown a lively Interest to Boost Independent European Digital products, as early as since the aftermath of the 2013 Snowden Scandal on US Mass Spying even on EU Countries' Officials, (as an unforgetable EU Summit, October 2013 in Brussels, had clearly shown : See, f.ex., among others, also : .....)


- "Together, We (EU's key Countries) can be Strong. But, one Alone, would be Swept away by Globalisation, Bruno Le Maire warned, as a matter of general principle.


-  At any case, "Digital Taxation" is an "Important" Issue, where "we (EU) Need better Monitoring", while France vowed to use, during the "Next Year" (2019), its G7 - G20 Presidency in order "to Fight Better against Tax Evasion" at Global level, Bruno Le Maire anounced.


But the most obvious Question, spontaneously popping up for anyone who followed Both MEPs' and EU Citizens' Debates Today in Strasbourg, naively but sincerely and logically is :


- "When shall we have a good European SmartPhone ?"...


Something, indeed, that even the experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party's President, former Long-Time Strasbourg's MEP and Chairman of the EPP Group in EU Parliament, Joseph Daul, had vowed to Discuss with the New French President, already since 2017...


A fortiori, when one knows that even the 1st Mobile Phone in the World, as well as the 1st evolved SmartPhone, were Both built in Europe in the Past, by Finland's Nokia, (which has Recently returned back to Independent Production).

 

But Minister Bruno Le Maire, who Saluted Friendly "Eurofora" (which had been Invited to Both Events), when he Arrived Today in Strasbourg, had, afterwards, to run fast to catch his TGV for Paris, so that this key Question was practically postponed for later-on...

 

(../..)


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Pierre Pflimlin's visionary line : Honouring the Memory of the man who wanted to build Europe on the Mountains, based on Spirit !

 

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One of EuroFora's best inspirators is naturally Pierre Pflimlin :

We had a chance to personally meet the dynamic and experienced former President of both EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, France's Prime Minister and Strasbourg's Mayor, only at his 90th anniversary, during an Historic speech at the Council of Europe, exceptionally full of people.

But his energetic figure looked more like a youngster of 19 years old, eager to win the Olympic games !..

Visionary, 2P was, from many points of view :

His daughter, Antoinette, Artist-decorator, and Senator Jung, President of a group of friends, confirmed us an Historian's revelation, that Pflimlin had initially the idea to build all European institutions (EU Parliament, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, etc) at the spectacular heights of Oberhausbergen hills, with an eye-catching view of both French Vosges and German Black Forest Mountains, in the midst of a Forest : A real vision to create a brand New European Headquarters with a big ambition !

But, it seems, that "someone in Brussels" found that picture, precisely, too big for his taste, and threw a spanner on the works...

Pflimlin stroke back a Decade ago, at his Historic 1997 farewell speech :

He urged Europeans to find another, more substantial way, to lift Europe to more important Heights in Future :

- "On which basis can we imagine the birth of a great Europe ?", he asked.

"Certainly an Economic basis ! A solid market economy, meeting also the needs of social justice. A Political basis : Europe must become a strong Political Power, able to influence World's changes, naturally for Peace."

"But I believe that the essential foundation of a greater Europe should be of Spiritual nature : .... The great pacific Revolutions were Spiritual Victories" : They expressed "People's main motivation to live in a society with our Values of Liberty, Democracy, respect for Human Dignity".

"Then, the roadmap is ready : Yes, the foundation of the unity for a large Europe is the spiritual heritage, inspired by Christian Humanism and the Humanism of Renaissance, of Enlightenment, from which emerged a Civilisation focused on the Human person".

"Here is the task to be accomplished. It's very difficult".

"The Time approaches when I'll have to pass over the torchlight. God willing, this torch should enlighten the path of those who are going to build, tomorrow, the great Europe, marked by this Spirit".

 

(Extract from the Book "Pierre Pfilmin : Alsacian and European", 2007. Texts by Senator Louis Jung, by the long-time f. Director of Strasbourg's Newspaper DNA, Alain Howiller, and by f. EU Parliament's Press Director, Paul Collowald : See dedications, hand-written by the authors, the day the book for Pflimlin's 100th Aniversary was launched at Strasbourg's Press Club and European Parliamentary Association's headquarters, 13 April 2007).

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