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Old 19.10.2010, 12:50
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Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

The attitude towards corruption has changed a lot over the past fifty years. While it was considered a fact of life a couple of decades ago - If you want to sell something, especially in poor countries, you need to bribe the locals.

I cannot find it, but I believe I read that bribes abroad were at a time even tax deductible for Swiss companies.

Getting bribed - when working for the government - was on the other hand illegal already for a logn time. What changed was the attitude towards private businesses. Twenty years ago or so, did most developed countries outlaw bribes in the private sector. In Switzerland, this development took a bit longer: Corruption in private institutions was outlawed in..... 2006.

But the law has a small print: The Swiss national government - wise as they are - excluded some of the most likely candidates from the law: International sport associations based in Switzerland, like the IOC, FIFA... do not need to fear this law. So the two guys who accepted the bribes by the journalists will never even have to go to court... let alone get a punishment!

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/sport/fu...story/30016489
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Old 19.10.2010, 17:25
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

This is actually a pretty poor article. The bribery of private persons is regulated by the Federal Act against Unfair Competition (art. 4a). This act applies only to activities affecting competition. It's not clear whether awarding the right to host a tournement constitutes such an activity. The article in the Tagesanzeiger refers to the so called "Botschaft", a explanatory commentary written by the legislator. According to this document the activities of sports asscociations don't fall within the scope of the Unfair Competion Act. But the "Botschaft" has no binding force at all, so a court may decide that Unfair Competition Act is applicable all the same.

The bribery of private persons is only prosecuted on complaint. So the Fifa representatives will get away with it if no formal complaint is made to the prosecuting authorities.
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Old 19.10.2010, 17:39
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

Bribes are still deductible, they are just called "agent's commission" now, although it is not quite so easy when it comes to government officials as this is illegal.

Here the official's brother in law is usualy the agent or whatever.

Last edited by Charlie R. Soles; 19.10.2010 at 17:48. Reason: typo
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Old 19.10.2010, 17:56
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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This is actually a pretty poor article. The bribery of private persons is regulated by the Federal Act against Unfair Competition (art. 4a). This act applies only to activities affecting competition. It's not clear whether awarding the right to host a tournement constitutes such an activity. The article in the Tagesanzeiger refers to the so called "Botschaft", a explanatory commentary written by the legislator. According to this document the activities of sports asscociations don't fall within the scope of the Unfair Competion Act. But the "Botschaft" has no binding force at all, so a court may decide that Unfair Competition Act is applicable all the same.

The bribery of private persons is only prosecuted on complaint. So the Fifa representatives will get away with it if no formal complaint is made to the prosecuting authorities.
The article might be poor, but the bottom line is: Members of a non-governmental organisation have been proven to be corrupt. They wanted money for their vote in the FIFA board.

The "Botschaft" quoted makes clear that the existing laws do not apply to the FIFA. So there is no jurisdiction in place and one can only get the impression that this has been done on purpose being well aware of the intransparent ways the FIFA and others do their business in Switzerland.

The council of Europe has made an agreement and basically all European countries - by far not only EU members (for example Azerbaijan) - have signed it and agreed to take measures to limit corruption in private business. Switzerland has not signed.

http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/Co...?NT=173&CL=ENG
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Old 19.10.2010, 18:55
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

Not really surprising, the whole FIFA-thing.
Has anybody thought the delegates are a congregation of Capuchin monks who have sworn to a life in asceticism and poverty?
Especially the representatives of smaller FIFA-countries have been known to sell-off the alotted tickets to championships to the highest bidder or through travel-agencies that they own themselves....
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:24
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

FIFA will generate more than 1.5 billion euros revenu from World Cup 2010 in South Africa. In the same time, the south-africans had to spend more than 4 billions euros for the event and tax deductions for the FIFA. They end up with a total lost of 2.4 Billions CHF. This comes from a study released by the Swiss Labour Assistance in Sept. 2010.

So isn't FIFA just based on a form of "corruption" ?

Last edited by MrVertigo; 19.10.2010 at 19:46.
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:32
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

I agree with you that giving FIFA the NGO-Status is problematic. And, most certainly, FIFA has a lot more to hide than what has surfaced now.

However, I agree with calvin, that the article is somewhat misleading. A Botschaft does not define the limits of applicability of a law. In general, administrative bodies have to apply a law by the letter (grammatical interpretation).

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The council of Europe has made an agreement and basically all European countries - by far not only EU members (for example Azerbaijan) - have signed it and agreed to take measures to limit corruption in private business. Switzerland has not signed.

http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/Co...?NT=173&CL=ENG
Switzerland has signed, says your link.
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:34
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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FIFA will generate more than 1.5 billion euros revenu from World Cup 2010 in South Africa. In the same time, the south-africans had to spent more than 4 billions euros for the event and tax deductions for the FIFA. They end up with a total lost of 2.4 Billions CHF. This comes from a study released by the Swiss Labour Assistance in Sept. 2010.

So isn't FIFA just based on a form of "corruption" ?
Of course it is - by definition. FIFA is scum (I hope it's still ok to de-humanize non-humans ).

excellent article link, btw.

Last edited by Pashosh; 19.10.2010 at 19:45.
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:39
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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FIFA will generate more than 1.5 billion euros revenu from World Cup 2010 in South Africa. In the same time, the south-africans had to spent more than 4 billions euros for the event and tax deductions for the FIFA. They end up with a total lost of 2.4 Billions CHF. This comes from a study released by the Swiss Labour Assistance in Sept. 2010.

So isn't FIFA just based on a form of "corruption" ?
It's rather "racketeering".
First, you don't "get" the World Cup, if you don't pass a law that basically gives FIFA a carte-blanche tax-free status for it.
Then, of course, you (the taxpayer) will have to fund and build all the infrastructure etc.
If you can attract enough tourists (and paint a positive picture of your country) and the existing infrastructure is not too bad, I think it can actually pay off (well, sort-of break even).
After the WC2006, a lot of people came to visit Germany for the first time, because the feedback reported in the media all over the world was so positive (and we had 4 weeks of sunshine in a row - unbelievable).
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:47
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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It's rather "racketeering".
First, you don't "get" the World Cup, if you don't pass a law that basically gives FIFA a carte-blanche tax-free status for it.
Then, of course, you (the taxpayer) will have to fund and build all the infrastructure etc.
If you can attract enough tourists (and paint a positive picture of your country) and the existing infrastructure is not too bad, I think it can actually pay off (well, sort-of break even).
After the WC2006, a lot of people came to visit Germany for the first time, because the feedback reported in the media all over the world was so positive (and we had 4 weeks of sunshine in a row - unbelievable).
yup it is: Give me your watch, I'll give you the time.
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Old 19.10.2010, 19:55
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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Switzerland has signed, says your link.
Ooops. Mixed it up: Switzerland has signed the one on criminal law, but not the one on civil law: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Co...?NT=174&CL=ENG
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Old 19.10.2010, 23:41
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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The attitude towards corruption has changed a lot over the past fifty years. While it was considered a fact of life a couple of decades ago - If you want to sell something, especially in poor countries, you need to bribe the locals.

I cannot find it, but I believe I read that bribes abroad were at a time even tax deductible for Swiss companies.

Getting bribed - when working for the government - was on the other hand illegal already for a logn time. What changed was the attitude towards private businesses. Twenty years ago or so, did most developed countries outlaw bribes in the private sector. In Switzerland, this development took a bit longer: Corruption in private institutions was outlawed in..... 2006.

But the law has a small print: The Swiss national government - wise as they are - excluded some of the most likely candidates from the law: International sport associations based in Switzerland, like the IOC, FIFA... do not need to fear this law. So the two guys who accepted the bribes by the journalists will never even have to go to court... let alone get a punishment!

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/sport/fu...story/30016489
The Federal Government has the same problem I have. There is a FIFA chief, who, even if it cannot be proven, is corrupt to his bones, but has done an awful lot of good things for Switzerland in general and Zurich in particular. In my view he is "Mr CH corruption" but he has brought more international organisations to Zurich than anyone since Alfred von Escher, and so I absolutely "contre-coeur" support that man
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Old 19.10.2010, 23:44
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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The article might be poor, but the bottom line is: Members of a non-governmental organisation have been proven to be corrupt. They wanted money for their vote in the FIFA board.

The "Botschaft" quoted makes clear that the existing laws do not apply to the FIFA. So there is no jurisdiction in place and one can only get the impression that this has been done on purpose being well aware of the intransparent ways the FIFA and others do their business in Switzerland.

The council of Europe has made an agreement and basically all European countries - by far not only EU members (for example Azerbaijan) - have signed it and agreed to take measures to limit corruption in private business. Switzerland has not signed.

http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/Co...?NT=173&CL=ENG
Switzerland will not sign such a thing as long as Mr Blatter is around !
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Old 19.10.2010, 23:47
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

You'd support Satan if he'd rent the Zuriberg for Hell
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Old 20.10.2010, 00:12
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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You'd support Satan if he'd rent the Zuriberg for Hell
I WOULD support Satan if he would take over Züriberg including the folks up there
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Old 20.10.2010, 00:16
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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I WOULD support Satan if he would take over Züriberg including the folks up there
May already have happened...
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Old 20.10.2010, 00:16
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

Why buy when you can lease
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Old 20.10.2010, 00:38
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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Why buy when you can lease
They will NOT lease out, unless he offers a very good rate
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Old 20.10.2010, 00:57
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Re: Corruption is legal in Switzerland - if you work at FIFA!

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Bribes are still deductible, they are just called "agent's commission" now, although it is not quite so easy when it comes to government officials as this is illegal.

Here the official's brother in law is usualy the agent or whatever.
In the USA it`s called lobbying
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