No one will admit that Belgium, home of the capital of the EU, Brussels, is breaking up, and as yet has only a caretaker government since its recent elections. The biggest party in Belgium is separatist, and the country is getting close to dividing in two. But at the start of the Belgian EU Presidency, these inconvenient facts are being ignored, and the EU Parliament pretends everything is business as normal.
Farage doesn’t like the ignoring of such facts, and rubs the noses of the assembled MEPs in the mess that underlies their current arrangements. Not mentioning of course that the current President of The EU Commission, Van Rompuy is Belgian. Hello!
By the looks on MEPs’ faces, they don’t like hearing anything approximating to these truths one bit. Cheer up, Lads. Better to face the music, and realise you’re stuffed. Then we can all do something about it, like close down the EU completely.
In another few months, it will no doubt close itself, as the Germans finally tire of holding the whole thing together, and pull out of the Euro unilaterally. Better to copy Nigel, and get the facts out into the open.
MEANWHILE, MORE INCONVENIENT FACTS – High taxes and new financial regulations banning large bonuses are driving City firms out to Switzerland in droves. FT.
The EU legislation follows this week’s news that Alan Howard, one of the most successful hedge fund managers and a Conservative party donor, is moving to Geneva. The founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management, Europe’s largest hedge fund, moved to its newly opened Geneva office in June. Earlier this year, BlueCrest Capital, a $19bn (£13bn) fund manager founded by former JPMorgan traders Michael Platt and William Reeves, also opened in the Swiss city.
There are no figures on departures from the UK. But there are undeniable signs that more UK residents – largely, but not exclusively from the City – are reacting to tax and regulatory changes by moving, with Switzerland a prime destination. Others might follow after last week’s Budget, which included a bank levy and changes to capital gains tax.
“We are receiving daily inquiries from companies and individuals thinking of relocating to the Geneva area”, says Larry Levene, founder of Alpine Homes, a Switzerland-based property group. Accelerating activity has prompted Mr Levene to diversify from ski chalets to permanent moves. After opening a Geneva office, he has expanded to Zurich.
Foreign inquiries are not limited to London. “We also see rising interest from people in Paris thanks to the recent planned tax changes in France”, says Charles Spierer, head of CGi Immobilier, a Geneva agent.