Spain and Portugal have failed to comply with the EU rules regarding budget deficits so the EU Commission is contemplating fining the countries up to .2% of GDP and .5% of their respective EU subsidy payments. Really? Exactly how much revenue does the EU Commission collect from ‘fines’?
The EU Commission apparently attempted to fine Greece on numerous occasions – once after a toxic waste dump was not closed down. They asked nicely in 1992 and in 2001, they finally fined Greece $19,000 per day until the dump was shut down. In 2005 the EU Commission again fined Greece for its failure to crack down on illegal landfills. This time they imposed fines in the neighborhood of $25m Euro. Greece subsequently defaulted on its payment to the IMF. Surprise!
The concept reminds me of debtors prison – since you can’t pay some of your debts we’re going to eliminate your ability to pay ALL your debts by putting a strangle hold on you. Logical? No of course not. So the threat looses it’s value because there is ‘no win’.
How do you create a win-win? Incentive.
Years ago California had a great idea (once) – they offered a highway contractor a monetary incentive to finish the project early and a decentive for every day they were late. Surprise! The project came in early. Despite the fact that it was a great success, the concept was tabled. Why? Because it set an example, it proved a point, and the unions and lobbyists knew the far reaching ramifications could affect every contractor going forward. Pffft.
With BREXIT, the EU Commission lost a gainful ante into their pool of euro’s. They have a choice; either increase the net revenues each remaining member must ante, or find alternate sources, as in new members. What they cannot do is alienate their current members with excessive penalties and sanctions unless they want to unravel the entire EU.
So why are they picking on Spain and Portugal?
The problem is that just about every country in the world rides a budget deficit. The exceptions are: Kuwait, South Korea, Germany, UAE, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Singapore, Qatar, Oman and Norway. The worst offenders are: US, Pakistan, Japan, India and the UK.
Technically, if the UK had remained in the EU it would be subject to severe austerity cuts and sanctions! And the US would never even make the cut.
The Commission most recently proposed fining EU countries that refused to comply with their refugee quota’s. The fine – 250,000 euro per refugee! That’s a lot of moola! At 500,000 refugees that would amount to $125billion. What would the Commission do with all that money? Would they give it to the refugee? Nah. It would become a part of the sludge of the uncategorized ‘pool’/corruption.
It would appear that the EU Commission makes quite a bounty imposing fines that tag upwards of 30+ per year on various individuals, companies, and countries. The latest haul came just this year when the Commission fined Google $3.4 billion for anti-trust violations. Intel previously had the dubious honor of having the largest fine imposed by the EU – 1.1 billion euro. And last year eight companies faced fines totaling $132million for colluding in anti-competition policies, but that was only a small part of the more than $3 billion the Commission tallies annually.
Who suffers as a result of anti-competition? The people. Who reaps the benefit of antitrust fines? The government. The revenue is classified as ‘other income/revenues’ and is used to support the bureaucracy. There is no rebate, no award given back to the victims.
But corruption within the EU is considered massive amounting to approximately 120-900 billion euro’s per year, far more than revenues from fines!
So why isn’t the Commission focusing their priorities inward, on the much more lucrative source? Because the corruption is within the political structure and within the Commission itself. The hypocrisy is classic. Laws are made for everyone – else. Hillary?