Hands Off Our Co-ops!

| Community |

Tax
Treatment of Co-ops Challenged at the European Commission – Co-op Identity
Threatened

Claiming
that differential tax treatment of co-operatives constitutes "state aid", and
that such treatment undermines the competition rules of the EU, a number of
large shareholding firms have launched a legal challenge of the tax regimes of
Spain, Italy, and France. Despite the fact that the distinctive form of
co-operatives as mutual enterprises is recognized in EU treaties, and that some
national constitutions protect co-operatives as a form of enterprise
established on principles different from those of capitalist firms, the effect
of a successful legal challenge would be to erase this distinction.
Co-operatives Europe, the European region of the International Co-operative
Alliance, considers this challenge a major threat to the identity of
co-operatives and an attempt on the part of capitalist firms to weaken their
co-operative competitors and to gain market share.

Once
again, capital interests refuse to tolerate the existence, much less the
success, of any form of enterprise that challenges the principles and practices
of capitalist firms.

Co-operatives
Europe is mobilizing a petition among EU citizens to block this threat to the
co-op identity in Europe. We wish them all success!

For more
information, visit http://www.coopseurope.coop/spip.php?article592

Note: Please
do not sign the e-petition unless you are an EU citizen as this may compromise
the value of the petition results.