The Cambridge Dictionary defines “taking the lid off” as: “to cause something bad that was previously kept secret to be known by the public” (Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press). A writer like Thomas L. Friedman in the New York times should know this perfectly well, as he used this term in his column ‘ Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ published on the 7th August 2018. This is the reason for why I writing this. Because of two paragraphs that needs to be addressed, I will first let his words speak, before showing what the EU says about the matter. As a European, the American writer doesn’t make sense.
The key part was:
“Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took. It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country” (Thomas L. Friedman – ‘Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ 07.08.2018 link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/opinion/can-i-ruin-your-dinner-party.html).
I don’t know in which world Friedman is residing, but the words of the EU, Zelesa and MPC are clearly not opening any jars of uncertainty. Yes, there been a growing amount of illegal and non-asylum seekers through the United Nations or Bilateral Organizations, which they have come from War-Zones as in the past. As the EU Member States takes their quota of refugees and asylum-seekers as a global task of helping people in need, as that cannot happen where they are or they are living in temporary shelters awaiting hopefully a helpful nation to become their guardian. However, no else is saying it is NATO fault or even the fall Qaddafi, which is the reason for crossing across the Mediterranean sea. There is more porous borders as well as the conflict in the Sahel Region that has continued. These are all reasons for the transport of refugees from the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there was never a lid to be taken of the continent.
The EU Science Hub states:
“Between 2008 and 2016, the total annual number of African migrants remained stable. However, legal immigration was declining in this period, while the number of irregular arrivals and asylum claims of Africans increased. Irregular arrivals of Africans via the Mediterranean started to decline again in 2017.In Europe, the majority of African immigrants come from North Africa, with most people making the move to reunite with family members already settled in a European country” (EU Science Hub – ‘New perspectives on African migration’ 01.07.2018 link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-perspectives-african-migration).
EU Project opened more nations for Immigration:
“Clearly, African immigration to Europe was marked by increasing diversification both in the number of countries sending and receiving the immigrants. Particularly remarkable was the emergence of the southern European countries, principally Italy, Portugal, and Spain, themselves longstanding emigration countries, as immigration countries. This was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of Western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. Enclosed in a new European transnational space, new identities of ethnicity and citizenship began to emerge that entailed creating both symbolic and material borders to keep away or distinguish the immigrants. The Europeanization of these countries and the rebordering of the Mediterranean that it implied required the separation and stigmatization ofimmigrants from the global South (Suarez-Navaz, 1997; Royo, 2005)” (Paul Tiyambe Zeleza – ‘Africa ‘s Contemporary Global Migrations: Patterns, Perils, and Possibilities’ P: 39, June 2010).
Migration Profile – Libya:
“Despite Libya being, first and foremost, a country of immigration, the deterioration of immigrants’ conditions in the country has also made it an important country for transit migration and particularly for the many migrants trying to reach Malta and the Italian Isle of Lampedusa As to emigration patterns, Libya has never recorded significant outward migration flows. However, during the 2011 unrest, there was an upsurge of Libyan nationals fleeing the country. According, though, to the authorities in neighbouring countries, the great majority are believed to already have returned to Libya” (…) “To conclude, two considerations can be made about the impact of the Libyan crisis on international migration movements. On the one hand, Sub Saharan nationals were without any doubt the people most at risk, both in Libya and at the borders (where repatriation activities led to an impasse). On the other hand, the capacity of neighbouring African countries to manage the crisis in terms of the reception of migrants was remarkable. (IOM, 2012)” (Migration Policy Center – ‘MPC – MIGRATION PROFILE Libya, June 2013).
As we can really see, is that what Friedman is saying is wrong. The African Migration to Europe has lasted long. That is not new and has usually followed to the previous Colonizers of the ones migrating. However, with the change of he European Union, has changed that pattern, but not opened up something. The Libyan Crisis and fall of Qaddafi have had is effect. However, the results by the EU and the IOM are stating not as bad as previously stated. Also that the “illegal” are rising, but less of the direct asylum-seekers, meaning their means and ways has changed, but the end-game are more of the same. They are still fleeing from crisis and wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they doing so by the shores of Northern Africa crossing into EU Countries.
So, the taking the lid off by invading and deposing Qaddafi seems like far-fetched. That is a lie, also a relic of the past, as Friedman sounds like they opened a box with a box-opener. This was simply done with getting rid of one dictator. He seems like that is the reason for the whole transit in Libya, not the whole conflict within the continent and neither the true nature of it all. As people are doing whatever they can to get shelter and hope for the future, because the International Community isn’t reacting or caring about the oppression in their nations. They are forgotten and know they will not get help, as the Western Powers are boasting these leaders who oppress and then people want to flee from these shores.
No lid was taken, it was never a lid there to begin with? Are there a lid that was opened so that United States could have space for all the slaves in the past? Or is there a lid taken of the brain of Trump? We all, the rest of the world really want to know.
Enough of this nonsense. Peace.
The European Council in the draft note before the next general meeting. Is establishing mechanisms, which would ensure that less tries to cross the oceans to get to safe harbour in Europe. This by both giving financial aid possibly and make the Border States have settlements of asylum-seekers and whatnot.
“The European Council will also strengthen EU external instruments on migration in the context of the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in particular so as to ensure effective cooperation with countries of origin and transit. To this end, the external components of the internal, border, asylum and migration funds should include a dedicated external migration management window specifically geared towards stemming irregular migration flows” (Council of the European Union – European Council meeting (28 June 2018) – Draft conclusions -8147/18, 19.06.2018).
This is really nasty stuff, that the European Union continues to purge like this and with these methods. Actually, making sure the refugees and asylum-seekers are stationed in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and everything else bordering at sea towards Europe. There is lack of heart and with intent of shattering people’s dreams of possible refuge. That is what this is.
They are planning external migration management to stop the flow of people crossing into their borders. That means an invisible wall with functions and mechanisms stopping the ones trying to seek refuge. Just think about that, the sovereign states on the borders are bushwhacked by the EU and also most likely pushed by the funds their way as a bargain. Both parties with no consideration of the implications on the lives on the ones fleeing war-zones and civil-wars, famine or any sort of disaster that are creating all the reasons for fleeing on humanitarian grounds. Still, the EU will use these states as buffers and shield itself from people coming.
We can all see with this, the precious and deep scars, the evidence of control and also extending boundaries, just so, the ones in need cannot cross into refuge. They cannot get shelter or hope for the future, but live in oblivion, outcast in their own homeland and not welcome at the destination either. It is just a sad story of our time and the lack of compassion within the leadership of our representatives as well. Peace.
Now that the Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola is having his first real test as a professional manager, he wants to revamp the system. So that it can with ease fit his protocol and tactical, mastermind of tactics are struggling with “only” having 3 substitutes in the Premier League. Since he doesn’t have Arjen Robben or Lionel Messi; he has Sergio Agüero and Kevin De Bruyne. Seems, like they are not up-to his level or his standard of football, he is not winning with ease as Guardiola did in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
With History in Mind:
“On 21 August 1965 Charlton’s Keith Peacock ensured his place in football history by coming on as substitute for injured goalkeeper Mike Rose at Bolton. The Football League had decided to allow substitutes from the start of the 1965-66 season, although only to replace an injured player. There had been many calls for such a change over the previous decade and the issue achieved prominence after a series of FA Cup finals had seen teams depleted by injury, often with decisive influence on the result” (Bateman, 2016).
What Guardiola was saying:
“’It’s not just English football, it’s all around the world. We’re going to kill the players,’ Guardiola said” (…) “‘For that reason we have to have huge squads, more money for the clubs to spend. Just three substitutions right now… why can’t you make four, five or six? ‘That [would] mean all the players are involved more than they were before. The coaches can use different tactics, where you can change four or five players’. ‘It’s [then] a more open game, not always the same. Less injuries. Everything would be better. I think UEFA and FIFA have another opinion about that.’” (Gaughan, 2016).
So to be able to change a forward, midfield and defence isn’t enough as he has loaned away Joe Hart to Torino, not thought much of many of the other former big-players under Roberto Manchini, Guardiola are now wanting to revolutionize the Substitutions system in the Premier League. This is the same kind of whining we heard similar fashion when Jose Mourinho started his first period in Chelsea. That there we’re to many matches in the Christmas and around New Years, as the Premier League and cup matches happens nearly every 3 day with no Christmas break as in other European leagues.
So now Guardiola, the tactical genius, the mastermind of football cannot manage to change 3 out 11 players on the pitch, as he cannot see this fitting the time schedule with Champions League and other cups. That sounds weak, as Alex Ferguson managed well for a decade with that in Manchester United. He has not been proclaimed the FOOTBALL mastermind and the one who could make water into wine.
The new-wine is to be able to substitute half of the team as the strength of modern players are lacking, the ease of heavy training make them more fragile as their salaries has surged and the level of tattoo’s are more common than on seamen back-in-the-day. That Guardiola has to and wants to change half his team says more about his lacking consideration and wish to have bigger squads. Because if they can substitute 6 players, the bench shouldn’t be 7 players with 6 players eligible to play on the field and one keeper! Than the number of substitutes should be 12 players and 11 eligible players to play on the field. That means that the squad of a team would be 23 players not the 18 players that it’s now. That together with the maximum squads registered into UEFA Champions League and Football Association (FA) for Premier League. Something that will make the richest and powerful teams grab more of the talent and more of skilled players without needing farmer-clubs to keep the level of world-class professional players elsewhere.
Guardiola just want it easy and make the changes as he sees certain players without form or without character on the field playing Burnley instead of intelligence of how to use those three to change the game. This isn’t what I expected of Guardiola, I thought he would cope with the Premier League and not bitches like this. The Arrogance of wanting to revamp an old system because he has a hard time isn’t wisdom. It’s the easy fix out. Just like I felt with Mourinho when he was nagging on the amounts of matches in the Christmas and New Year’s period!
Man-up Guardiola! You who are supposed to be a mastermind, a tactician use the system and hit it hard. You have a club with fortunes to spend; you got workmates from Barcelona to help you out in the corners of Football Academy and the scouting after talent on the continent. You Guardiola have a grand opportunity to prove your skills.
I feel the same way to ranting Mourinho who said this in 2013:
“We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, we don’t do it as a normal thing, we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don’t have a Christmas break like the Spanish, Italian and German players. We don’t have that” (…) “But we have the pleasure of playing a period that’s only for the braves. I like that very, very much.” (…) “”I enjoyed it when I was in England before and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy. Now I’m back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation” (…) “Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That’s our motivation for tomorrow, to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight” (HGH Magic – ‘Mourinho: Christmas fixtures only for the braves!’ (26.11.2013) link: http://www.chelsea.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=538783#ixzz4SZILKQJi).
It’s time for Pep to cope with the Premier League, to play with the cards that are dealt and the cards on the table. He cannot think that his stature and his former accolades will give him way to fix the FA. Pep is not the first or last former successful manager trying himself in the Premier League. There aren’t many leagues with more substitutes over 3 + one extra if the goalkeeper is injured in the overtime. This is something that Pep should be able to fix it!
PEP, time to man-up eats the pupping-pop and figure out possible ways of using the players, the club and the league. Not complaining and wanting a revolution because you cannot handle the pressure. Time to think through your skill-set, talk with your fellow compatriots and club apparatus in Manchester City; they should help you and give you advice so you can manage 3 substitutes as it has been for decades. Peace.
Bateman, Jason – ‘Fifty years of substitutions in football: from necessary novelties to tactical tools’ (18.09.2016) link: https://www.theguardian.com/football/when-saturday-comes-blog/2015/sep/18/fifty-years-substitutions-football-sport
Gaughan, Jack – ‘Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urges football authorities to allow managers to use more than three subs’ (10.11.2016) Link:: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4018792/Manchester-City-boss-Pep-Guardiola-urges-football-authorities-allow-managers-use-three-subs.html#ixzz4SZ8BtdBN
“Considering the strong democratic traditions in Europe, and the fact that taxation is considered an issue of great importance to national sovereignty, it seems rather odd that the EU has taken such a negative approach to the inclusion of developing countries in the setting of global tax standards” (Eurodad, P: 33, 2016)
There are in this world, lots of greedy people and states that want to earn on their own benefit and get the little extra without the second party. That is why the European States do what they can to keep as much benefit of businesses inside their own dominion, even as the businesses are earning their profits in developing countries, this is happening with sophisticated business transactions, sweetheart-deals, letter-box companies and stashing profits into tax-havens.
The ones that doesn’t this tactic, this way of earning higher profits and getting better rates on the production; the reality is that European States has worked coherent to avoid their thieving of funds as the taxation deals and openings of the multi-national companies in Europe. So with these possibilities, there comes also the reasoning that the companies do what they can to stifle the European states in their own scheme to keep them. Certainly the countries getting a point on the dollar instead of multiple points on it; they could get a fair trade out of, but when they are tricking the businesses there, the businesses will do what they can to trick out of them too. The Businesses are not in the country out of love, they are there to earn profits and doesn’t’ care how as long as they get. So long the States are having the set-up to be used, they will use them and the citizens will wonder why the sophisticated businesses pay so little why earning fortunes, while the citizens are paying fairly high tax on the dollar.
Just take a look!
Letter box companies:
“The setting up of letterbox companies is one of the practices used by multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes in countries where their economic activity takes place” (…) “Looking at global investment flows, it is clear that several European countries are major centres providing attractive tax regimes for letterbox companies and thus functioning as conduits for multinationals’ investments. By comparing the statistics of foreign direct investments (FDI), Dutch organisation SOMO shows that the Netherlands is by far the largest exporter of FDI in the world, ahead of much bigger economies such as the United States and China” (Eurodad, P:17, 2016).
“In November 2014, the LuxLeaks revelations exposed the secret world of Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) – also known as sweetheart deals – which benefited multinational corporations, in some cases with tax rates lower than 1 per cent.89” (…) “Public insight into these kinds of deals is very rare indeed, since they are kept highly confidential. In fact, the LuxLeaks revelations were followed by legal charges against the two whistleblowers, as well as one of the key journalists, who brought the story to the public. The case is still ongoing in Luxembourg (see ‘Lack of whistleblower protection’)” (…) “Other examples of problematic APAs have been highlighted by the European Commission’s state aid cases. For example, APAs played a central role in the tax arrangements between Luxembourg and Fiat, the Netherlands and Starbucks, and Apple and Ireland. In these cases, the European Commission found the tax advantages given to the multinational corporations, through APAs, to be a violation of the EU’s State Aid rules” (Eurodad, P: 19, 2016).
“Another key concern related to tax treaties is that they often include provisions to lower – or remove – withholding taxes on cross-boundary financial flows, and thus can lead to lower tax income in the countries signing on to such treaties, including developing countries. For example, research by ActionAid shows that a tax treaty between Uganda and the Netherlands, signed in 2004, completely takes away Uganda’s right to tax certain earnings paid to owners of Ugandan companies if the owners are resident in the Netherlands” (…) “The underlying problem in the international tax system today is that multinational companies are treated as a collection of ‘separate entities’ even though in reality they function as unified firms, with subsidiaries under the central control of the parent company. In today’s system, subsidiaries of the same company are expected to trade with each other ‘at arm’s length’, as if they did not have any connection to each other” (Eurodad, P: 21-24, 2016).
“In order to deal with the tax evasion and avoidance risks related to banking secrecy, some developed countries, such as the EU Member States, have agreed to start exchanging information on financial accounts automatically amongst each other” (…) “This means that, for example, the Belgian tax authorities will, automatically and on a periodic basis, receive information on any bank accounts or assets held by Belgians in other EU Member States. The aim of this automatic information exchange is to improve the efficiency of tax collection and prevent taxpayers from hiding capital or assets abroad” (Eurodad, P: 27, 2016).
Interesting findings from European Countries:
“The Austrian government is against full public country by country reporting, and even the European Commission’s proposal for partially public country by country reporting” (Eurodad, P: 41, 2016).
“Belgium generally has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, but the average reduction in developing country tax rates through these treaties is low. However, that the average does not show is that several of Belgium’s tax treaties with developing countries are ‘very restrictive’. There are also clear indications that Belgium’s tax treaties have significant negative impacts on the developing countries that sign them. A conservative estimate puts the fiscal cost to 28 developing countries at €35 million in 2012”(Eurodad, P: 41 , 2016). “The Belgian tax treaty system is also an issue of concern. A conservative estimate suggests that 28 developing countries lost €35 million in 2012 due to tax treaties with Belgium” (Eurodad, P: 57, 2016).
“The position of the Czech government on the issue of ownership transparency is ambiguous. On the one hand, the new Czech law is very restrictive in terms of access to information in the Czech beneficial ownership register (in fact, it seems that the definition of the “legitimate interest” is so narrow that in practice it will be inaccessible for the public, no matter if they have a legitimate interest or not)” (Eurodad, P: 42, 2016).
“The Danish government does not support full public country by country reporting. Instead, Denmark supports the proposal from the European Commission, which would only allow the public to get a partial picture of the activities and tax payments of multinational corporations” (Eurodad, P: 42 , 2016).
“Although the French tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, France has eight ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. In total, France also has the highest number of treaties with developing countries among all countries covered by this report” (Eurodad, P: 43, 2016).
“The German government has previously worked very actively against the adoption of full public country by country reporting at EU level. Germany remains very sceptical, even towards the proposal from the European Commission, which would only introduce partially public country by country reporting” (…) “Germany’s tax treaties with developing countries are a cause of concern due to the high number of very restrictive treaties. Also of concern is the fact that Germany’s total number of treaties with developing countries is significantly above average” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).
“Of all the countries covered by this report, the Irish tax treaties with developing countries introduce the highest average reductions on the tax rates of their developing country treaty partners. Among the Irish tax treaties with developing countries are three ’very restrictive’ treaties” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).
“Although the Italian tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, Italy and the UK are the countries that have the highest number of ’very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 45, 2016). “An Italian investigation is also ongoing into Credit Suisse Ag. The Switzerland-based group’s parent company is charged with systematically having helped 13,000 Italian clients to hide their assets of more than €14 billion abroad” (Eurodad, P: 73, 2016).
“According to the Financial Secrecy Index, Luxembourg has the highest level of financial secrecy of all the countries covered by this report (and ranks at number 6 at the global level). The government’s position on the issue of public registers of beneficial owners is unclear” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “In spite of the LuxLeaks scandal, Luxembourg has continued to issue a very high number of advance pricing agreements (or ‘sweetheart deals’) to multinational corporations – with a 50 per cent increase during the year following the scandal. This, as well as the fact that Luxembourg generally has a significant amount of indicators of aggressive tax planning, is highly concerning. Also, on the issue of financial secrecy, Luxembourg remains a high concern – currently placed as number 6 at the list of the world’s most secretive countries” (Eurodad, P: 79, 2016).
“Netherlands currently has some extremely restrictive tax treaties with developing countries, which make it difficult for those developing countries to collect taxes. Netherlands generally also has more tax treaties with developing countries, and is more aggressive in negotiating the lowering of tax rates in developing countries, than the average among the countries covered in this report. In addition, the government does not levy withholding taxes on outgoing payments to tax havens, which would be an effective anti-abuse measure that would not require lengthy treaty renegotiations” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “Leaked EU documents show that the Netherlands is attempting to undermine EU plans to tackle harmful tax practices by introducing a minimum tax rate of 10 per cent for royalties and interest payments. They reveal that the Netherlands has proposed exceptions in the plans for its patent box provision, which can reduce taxation on revenues resulting from research and development to 5 per cent. This provision, which is a key component of the Dutch tax system, would be threatened by a 10 per cent minimum rate” (Eurodad, P: 82, 2016).
“Norway has a high number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016). “Norway’s tax treaty with Benin completely prevents Benin from taxing royalty payments to Norway. This is problematic since multinational corporations can use royalty payments between subsidiaries to minimize their profits and thereby avoid taxes in the countries where they have business activities” (…) “Norway does not have a patent box. It does however have a very favourable tax regime for shipping companies, albeit in line with EU countries’ legislation. Shipping income is tax-exempt and qualifying companies instead pay a small tax based on the tonnage of its vessels” (Eurodad, P: 84, 2016).
“Poland has a significant number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016).
“Spain has on average been the second most aggressive negotiator when it comes to lowering developing country tax rates through tax treaties. Spain also has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, which gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 48, 2016). “Wealthy Spanish people have doubled their money stashed in Luxembourg (more than €13 billion) – afraid of uncertainty and looking for lower tax rates” (…) “Inside Spain, the Canary Islands (located close to the African Atlantic coast) have a special economic and tax regime that make them “one of the most profitable tax regimes in Europe”, according to PwC. A tax rate of 4 per cent for companies located there is one of the several tax benefits. Special incentives also are applied in Ceuta and Melill” (Eurodad, P: 90-91, 2016).
“Sweden has four ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).
“Together with Italy, the UK has the highest number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. On average, the UK’s tax treaties with developing countries contain relatively high reductions in developing country tax rates. The fact that the UK at the same time has the second highest number of treaties with developing countries gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).
If this isn’t eye-opening, than I don’t know, but it shows the systematic state of easy taxation to benefit big-business, the multi-national companies, so they can set-up show and get grander profits, while the states works the perks between them to settle score. The negotiations and the tax-havens gives more space for the companies to fuel money out of Europe and of the Developing Countries, which hurts all sort of government operations as the end-game is that the government doesn’t get the supposed tax-base as that flee to offshore or overseas where the taxations is lax or non-compliance with the place the business actually operates. We all should get our MPs, Senators, MEPs, Governors and all other Elected Representatives, to take action against this sophisticated thieving from the Multi-National Companies and the Representatives who opens the gates for this activity. Peace.
EURODAD – ‘Survival of the Richest – Europe’s role in supporting an unjust global tax system 2016’ (15.11.2016).