Dr. HOLGER THUSS (Wien)
“Taxpayer and Environment Issues are Intertwined,” Dr. Thuss says.
CFACT EUROPE’s Executive Director participated in the Third European Resource Bank Meeting, held in cooperation with the Annual Meeting of the World Taxpayer Associations from June 29 – July 2 in Vienna, Austria. The meetings bring together taxpayer and free market activists from around the globe to share ideas and strategy.
“The interests of taxpayers and free market environmentalists throughout the world are interwoven. Wrong tax policies and counterproductive environmental measures often go hand in hand,” Dr. Thuss said. “Sharing our experiences of resisting red tape and high taxes is therefore very important.”
The conference was hosted by the Austrian F.A. v. Hayek Institute. The 250 or so participants represented a huge variety of educational organizations, think tanks and professional organizations, who took the chance to discuss some current policy issues and to get involved in coalition building. Dr. Thuss used the opportunity to present both the English and the newly published German edition of Paul Driessen’s book “Eco-imperialism” as well as CFACT’s responsible-stewardship-approach to most of the participants.
The program of the conference reflected that the commitment to free enterprise is threatened by many factors, including high taxes, corruption, nostalgia for socialism, and an attachment to unsustainable welfare states. Speakers included Slovak finance minister Ivan Miklos, Israel’s opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Jürgen Stark, Vice President of the German Federal Bank, Andrei Illarionov, Former Chief Economic Advisor to the Russian President, author Johan Norberg, and Victoria Curzon Price, President of the Mont Pelerin Society.
In response to some critical developments in Russia, the conference also adopted a “Statement of Concern for Freedom in Russia”, signed by most of the participants. “This conference is about converting ideas into action. For many participants, just the psychological effect of knowing that there are like-minded people around the world is invigorating,” Dr. Thuss concluded.