An international tax resistance news round-up:
- A trial of several bonnets rouges on charges of highway tax portal destruction has been put off until September, and the defendants are now all out on bail. But meanwhile, the government has won its first conviction in another case: Samantha Prime, a 19-year-old student, was recently convicted of burning a highway radar outpost . She was given a six-month suspended sentence along with 175 hours of community service and an as-yet-undetermined fine for damages.
- Venetian separatists are claiming that 3,407 businesses have signed on to their tax strike, and as many as 93,000 others may be resisting less openly. If you accept the lower figure, this has cost the Italian state about €5 million so far; €61 million if you use the higher figure.
- Meanwhile, other Italian taxpayers are also getting fed up for reasons of their own. For example, bar owner Mariano Pavanello, who recently posted a selfie of himself holding a sign reading “I have decided not to pay protection money to a thieving state.”
- The Greek “won’t pay” movement scored another propaganda victory by reconnecting electric service to a disabled man and his pregnant wife who had been left in the dark for not paying increased taxes attached to their utility bills. “The ‘won’t pay’ movement is here to say we will continue to fight with all our might until the Greek people win back their lost dignity,” said a statement from the group.
- Rural Catalans, who are legally organized under a quasi-municipal government called the Decentralized Municipal Entity, approved a tax resistance motion that would have people in Catalonia redirect their federal taxes to the Catalan regional government. The federal government took them to court for this, but the court ruled that the non-binding motion of advocacy was “political speech” and was within the Entity’s authority.
- El Confidencial, however, has declared the campaign a failure, claiming that fewer than 1,500 people have begun redirecting their federal taxes in this way so far, a much lower figure than the movement had hoped for at this stage.
- Spanish war tax resisters are trying to keep better track of the number of resisters and the amount being resisted. You can see their impressive list of resisters and amounts, broken down by region, along with the destinations and amounts of redirected taxes at the Terc3ra Información site.
- Sales tax refuseniks in Salzburg, motivated by disgust at bank bailouts, have won the applause of their neighbors, but have had a hard time making their resistance stick. The government froze Wolfgang Reichl’s bank account until he paid taxes and penalties, for instance, but he vowed to resist again.
- When the government hides taxes in the price of goods, “where can you strike?” when the time for a tax strike comes, asks Miriam Koch. Maybe a labor strike is called for, suggests Christian Ortner — “to strike for a less confiscatory tax system would be no less legitimate than to strike for higher pay.”
- Ernst Wintergerst, at Schwarzwaelder-Bote, tells the story of an tax rebellion in Balingen.