Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-10-27-Speech-2-244-000"

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"Madam President, our policy toward Switzerland is driven by an unspoken or – indeed, in this Chamber – sometimes a voiced resentment about their stubborn independence. Not just the fact of being outside the European Union, but the fact that they dare to prosper – to be, according to the United Nations, the happiest and wealthiest country in Europe, with a remarkably low tax take. How they do it? How do they supply their peoples with the highest standard of living in the world while taking less than 30% of GDP in combined cantonal and federal spending, when we spend so much and get so little? Do you know what I would say: that is not they who have the problem. Perhaps, instead of trying to push the people of that sturdy mountain republic into joining the European Union, we should instead petition to become cantons of the Helvetic Confederation. We would have to be a lot more democratic, we would have to be a lot more open to referendums, we would have to cut our taxes and be a bit more competitive, and you know what: I can think of worse fates than that."@en1

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