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  #1261  
Old 11.12.2014, 11:11
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

EAB is right that Switzerland should pursue FTAs with BRIC. Furthermore, Switzerland should pursue closer economic ties with non-aligned economies. Switzerland needs to reaffirm its identity and character, and what has contributed greatly to its success, namely its neutrality.

The EU has major issues getting FTAs with large economies because it has to collectively bargain on behalf of all its members. So they bring a lot of baggage to the table. Switzerland and Finland Iceland are able to gain access to these economies with more ease, and should capitalize on this agility.

I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. Its in the growth activities of an economy where you find the payoff. In economies that are near peaking, or has already peaked, there are diminishing returns. So on this, it makes perfect sense to pursue FTAs with BRIC and any other unaligned economies. By doing so, Switzerland can leverage its neutrality and provide a conduit between competing economies. Joining the EU would signify the loss of the Swiss character of neutrality, and relegating it as an insignificant province up in the mountains.

Last edited by Phos; 11.12.2014 at 15:49.
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  #1262  
Old 11.12.2014, 12:10
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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**** the EU!!
Yes, this is the kind of thing I meant.
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  #1263  
Old 11.12.2014, 14:01
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Switzerland and Finland are able to gain access to these economies with more ease, and should capitalize on this agility
Here is the thing, Finland joined the EU in 1995 and has the Euro as it's currency...
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  #1264  
Old 11.12.2014, 14:43
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Here is the thing, Finland joined the EU in 1995 and has the Euro as it's currency...
I think that he meant Norway.

Tom
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Old 11.12.2014, 15:32
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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I think that he meant Norway.

Tom
You mean the Norway that is part of the EEA, the Schengen zone and NATO, which gives it an even closer relationship with the EU than CH has?
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Old 11.12.2014, 15:39
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

Alright, give me a break. One of those countries up North. I'm American. I was actually thinking of Iceland, which has an FTA with China.

My point was that Switzerland is in good position to fill in the gaps between FTAs and alliances, and provide conduits where there are none. That is what it has done in the past. Rule #1 of successful businesses: Keep repeating what works.
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Old 11.12.2014, 15:45
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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EAB is right that Switzerland should pursue FTAs with BRIC and India. Furthermore, Switzerland should pursue closer economic ties with non-aligned economies. Switzerland needs to reaffirm its identity and character, and what has contributed greatly to its success, namely its neutrality.

The EU has major issues getting FTAs with large economies because it has to collectively bargain on behalf of all its members. So they bring a lot of baggage to the table. Switzerland and Finland are able to gain access to these economies with more ease, and should capitalize on this agility.

I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. Its in the growth activities of an economy where you find the payoff. In economies that are near peaking, or has already peaked, there are diminishing returns. So on this, it makes perfect sense to pursue FTAs with BRIC, India and any other unaligned economies. By doing so, Switzerland can leverage its neutrality and provide a conduit between competing economies. Joining the EU would signify the loss of the Swiss character of neutrality, and relegating it as an insignificant province up in the mountains.
great idea, and then the SNB can peg the CHF to the Real!!!

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Old 11.12.2014, 15:50
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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My point was that Switzerland is in good position to fill in the gaps between FTAs and alliances, and provide conduits where there are none. That is what it has done in the past. Rule #1 of successful businesses: Keep repeating what works.
I totally agree with this approach. That is probably one of the reasons why the Chinese signed an FTA with CH, when they haven't with so many other larger countries, to obtain a conduit to the EU.

But now CH is faced with breaking the thickest branch among all of its conduits. The Chinese must be wondering why they bothered in the first place.

And Iceland is very much part of the EEA, Schengen and NATO as well
So I guess the Chinese will want to build closer links with Iceland than with CH, if looking for conduits to the EU.
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  #1269  
Old 11.12.2014, 15:51
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Alright, give me a break. One of those countries up North. I'm American. .
So true!

Add to that knowing how every place on earth you guys have never visited should fix their problems. (in all fairness it's not only an American thing)
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Old 11.12.2014, 16:02
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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So true!

Add to that knowing how every place on earth you guys have never visited should fix their problems. (in all fairness it's not only an American thing)
That is why we invented GPS. Borders schmorders, they are just imaginary things anyway.
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Old 11.12.2014, 16:28
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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EAB is right that Switzerland should pursue FTAs with BRIC. Furthermore, Switzerland should pursue closer economic ties with non-aligned economies. Switzerland needs to reaffirm its identity and character, and what has contributed greatly to its success, namely its neutrality.

The EU has major issues getting FTAs with large economies because it has to collectively bargain on behalf of all its members. So they bring a lot of baggage to the table. Switzerland and Finland Iceland are able to gain access to these economies with more ease, and should capitalize on this agility.

I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. Its in the growth activities of an economy where you find the payoff. In economies that are near peaking, or has already peaked, there are diminishing returns. So on this, it makes perfect sense to pursue FTAs with BRIC and any other unaligned economies. By doing so, Switzerland can leverage its neutrality and provide a conduit between competing economies. Joining the EU would signify the loss of the Swiss character of neutrality, and relegating it as an insignificant province up in the mountains.
About "I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. "
Careful! If the Brics adopt this approach then would Switzerland be an attractive partner?

Potentially losing strong economic ties with the EU.
Limiting immigration which was the engine of economic growth.
Positive point is the CHF link to the euro ensuring export prices are competitive.
But will this link be maintained if the economic ties with the EU are changed
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  #1272  
Old 11.12.2014, 16:54
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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About "I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. "
Careful! If the Brics adopt this approach then would Switzerland be an attractive partner?

Potentially losing strong economic ties with the EU.
Limiting immigration which was the engine of economic growth.
Positive point is the CHF link to the euro ensuring export prices are competitive.
But will this link be maintained if the economic ties with the EU are changed
What are these comments founded on? Fears? Best way of creating tyranny is by encouraging it.

Does the CH-EU Bilateral agreement prohibit CH from trade agreements with other parties? Obviously not. Does EU have a problem with CH striking up cooperation with others? I hope so. Will they want to talk, or throw their toys out of their pram? So then, about the FMOP.

You will eventually see more and more interests contest the EU, and they will eventually have to look at interests other their own power grabs.
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  #1273  
Old 11.12.2014, 17:01
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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About "I think it is a short sighted fallacy to qualify these relationships based on how economies are performing today, or what their GDP per Capita was in the past years. It should be qualified based on its potential. "
Careful! If the Brics adopt this approach then would Switzerland be an attractive partner?
Switzerland has a track record of being a pretty stable and reliable economy to do trade with - so the answer to your question is yes.

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Potentially losing strong economic ties with the EU.
Hopefully in the not to distant years the EU will no longer be the EU we know of today - hopefully it will become a more democratic organization and one that keeps itself to business and not politics! - And if not let it die altogether, and the Euro with it!
The aim should be to keep diplomatic ties strong with the nations themselves, while at the same time weaning our economy off of the EU stranglehold.

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Limiting immigration which was the engine of economic growth.
HA! "Immigration" was part of the reason for economic growth - immigration alone can just as well be devastating to a country's economy! Immigration combined with Swiss business practices and Swiss social values is why we have experienced so-called "economic growth". And that is of course not yet mentioning that it is a select portion, thankfully it would appear the majority, of immigrants who are beneficial to our economy - not all "Immigration" by far!
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  #1274  
Old 11.12.2014, 17:04
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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No, it's not. It's just a ten-year old blog post [...]
The fact the post is ten years old does not devalue it in my view. If anything, the interval of ten years gives a nice perspective, as the institutions have stayed roughly as undemocratic, unaccountable and corrupt over the period. During that time, much effort has spent by well-meaning people who think the institutions are reformable.

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written by one right-wing bigot for an audience of other right-wing bigots, citing the opinions of two of the twentieth century's greatest right-wing bigots.
I do not agree with this characterisation. Also, I would encourage you to try and engage in the discussion in good faith, and without resorting to name-calling such as the above.

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It contains zero information or argument and is an insult to the intelligence.
I would agree that it doesn't contain the information required to draw the conclusions it contains, and I didn't intend to present it as that sort of piece. Such a thing would require a much longer piece of writing.

What it does contain, though, is a key insight, nicely presented: not all institutions are reformable; sometimes you have to start over. In a way this is common sense. But it is often overlooked. Humans, naturally, seek to morph the most visible institutions we have into something better, rather than seeking to build the better things separately or from other institutions. Much of the time this is the right approach. But not everything is reformable, and it pays to recognise when this is the case. Eventually there comes a point where the energy of those who want something better is just being wasted, and a different approach is required.

The contribution to my own thinking, then, was that reform of badly broken institutions should at least be approached in a dual way: "if we can reform so as to fundamentally change the nature of this thing, what would we do; on the other hand, how would we achieve the same goals by simply building something better and with sounder fundamentals?".

If the EU could change in to something that respects principles like self-determination and consent-of-the-governed and democracy, that would all be jolly nice. But since the historical record shows that those building the EU institutions have generally done so with contempt for these principles, it seems apt to point out that a bright future for Europe may involve less of the EU, and more development of non-EU institutions with a European scope.
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Old 11.12.2014, 17:04
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Potentially losing strong economic ties with the EU.
Switzerland doesn't have any economic ties with the EU at all. Our trading partners are countries like Germany, France, Australia, USA, whatsoever. We don't sell stuff to the "EU", and we don't sell stuff to the "FTAA" and so on.
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Old 11.12.2014, 17:34
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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[...]

In short, the article says that EU reform is impossible because cats can't bark and because the FDA reform 30 years earlier failed.
That is not an accurate portrayal. I suspect you have a better eye for metaphor and illustrative example than you let on with the above.

The point made is that sometimes you can't fundamentally change the character of something. Once viewed this way, the gamut of possibilities for European progress opens up considerably. The same advice applies in many areas of life. We all need reminding sometimes what the options really are. People get locked in to thinking they have to ameliorate what is in front of them. You can try that, but there other options too.
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Old 11.12.2014, 18:19
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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HA! "Immigration" was part of the reason for economic growth - immigration alone can just as well be devastating to a country's economy! Immigration combined with Swiss business practices and Swiss social values is why we have experienced so-called "economic growth". And that is of course not yet mentioning that it is a select portion, thankfully it would appear the majority, of immigrants who are beneficial to our economy - not all "Immigration" by far!
I will grossly oversimplify this, but perhaps this will help:

I make a widget in Stade, Germany. It costs me EUR 100 to make the widget, and it has a market sale price in Italy of EUR 200. Instead of selling the widget directly to Italy, however, I "sell" it for EUR 110 via a book entry in SAP to my Swiss affiliate, headquartered in Zug where I maintain my "back office" of accountants, marketing analysts, supply chain experts and attorneys. My Swiss affiliate then "resells" the widget to a customer in Italy for EUR 200, whereupon I drop-ship the widget to the customer in Italy out of my plant in Stade, Germany. I pay tax in Germany on my EUR 10 profit (or whatever other bare minimum margin I am required to recognize in German under OECD guidelines), and my Swiss affiliate pays tax in Switzerland on its EUR 90 profit. I suspect you can already figure out on your own who pays a higher % tax rate on their profit, me or my Swiss affiliate.

the example above is the driver of Switzerland's economic growth over the last 25-30 years. immigration had nothing to do with the growth, it was simply a logical result of the country's business plan, which was premised upon foreign investment and foreign employees being warehoused within Swiss borders. when you talk about FTA's with China, Brazil, Russia or whomever, you should recognize that none of those countries give a rat's ass about the Swiss consumer market, the Swiss social system, Swiss quality, Swiss milk, skiing or anything else - they are interested in Switzerland because the Swiss business model offers them the most tax-efficient means of entry into the broader European markets. in other words, without your hated EU partners, there are no FTA's for Switzerland.

fyi, I am not suggesting that the Swiss economy is wholly-dependent on the above business model, because the country continues to have a strong and much-respected specialty manufacturing sector (think watches, pharma and engineering), a very strong financial sector and certainly also a robust tourism sector. but there is no question that the economic growth enjoyed by the country in recent decades was built on the back of foreign investment and the country's favorable tax regimes.
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Old 11.12.2014, 18:31
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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What are these comments founded on? Fears? Best way of creating tyranny is by encouraging it.

Does the CH-EU Bilateral agreement prohibit CH from trade agreements with other parties? Obviously not. Does EU have a problem with CH striking up cooperation with others? I hope so. Will they want to talk, or throw their toys out of their pram? So then, about the FMOP.

You will eventually see more and more interests contest the EU, and they will eventually have to look at interests other their own power grabs.
So which mice do you foresee contesting the EU elephant. On what grounds, with what objective?
Or do you imagine some white knight will appear and say to the EU "stop being nasty to Switzerland"


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Switzerland doesn't have any economic ties with the EU at all. Our trading partners are countries like Germany, France, Australia, USA, whatsoever. We don't sell stuff to the "EU", and we don't sell stuff to the "FTAA" and so on.
Individual EU countries like Germany, France are not allowed to form trading agreements with non-EU countries so Switzerland requires trading agreements with the EU which today include FMOP.
These trading agreements also include many useful features like
  • Mutual recognition of conformity ratings for most industrial products
  • Equal access for Swiss companies to procurements by regions and municipalities including procurement by public and private companies
Imagine the cost and time if Switzerland had to recertify all export products in the EU!
Imagine the problems if during procurements by public and private EU companies they had to prove suitable products were not available from EU suppliers before they were allowed to buy from Switzerland!

Indeed we have trading partners like Australia, USA, whatsoever; do you realistically see these countries suddenly taking an extra 100Bn per year of chemicals, medicinal products, machinery, instruments and time pieces - which is what we sell today into the EU.
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Old 11.12.2014, 19:55
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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So which mice do you foresee contesting the EU elephant. On what grounds, with what objective?
Or do you imagine some white knight will appear and say to the EU "stop being nasty to Switzerland"
You will see states push back, for their autonomy and self-determination. The EU is a step backwards in the forward progression of cultures and societies. They may need to see harsher repercussions before they take heed.

This situation is not much different from the US dependence on Middles East oil. Its only been a couple of years since. You probably would have said back then they will never break their dependence on foreign oil.

I do hope the world will be more dynamic than the stasis you imagine. It probably will be.
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Old 11.12.2014, 20:05
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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You will see states push back, for their autonomy and self-determination. The EU is a step backwards in the forward progression of culture and societies. They may need to see harsher repercussions before they take heed.

This situation is not much different from the US dependence on Middles East oil. Its only been a couple of years since. You probably would have said back then they will never break their dependence on foreign oil.

I do hope the world will be more dynamic than the stasis you imagine. It probably will be.
About "You will see states push back, for their autonomy and self-determination. "
The rich states are making too much money to push back and the poor states depend on hand-outs from the rich ones.

Possibly Switzerland will be key here; if it turns out well then maybe others will be encouraged. If it is a disaster then
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