Head of Dutch Libertarian Party Arrested Just Weeks Before Election

The former chairman of the Dutch Libertarian Party, Toine Manders has been kidnapped in Cyprus by the FIOD (the Dutch IRS) and is currently locked away in the Netherlands in complete isolation (aside from his lawyer), in an undisclosed location. He is being held for an extended 90-day period, the charges for which are unknown. Toine Manders began his career by giving legal advice, through his company HJC, to young Dutch men who wanted to avoid military conscription. He helped roughly 6,000 men avoid being trained as hit-men for the government. The mainstream media jumped on this, calling them ‘refusal yuppies’, who used legal loopholes to evade their duty to the country. After military conscription was suspended in 1996, Toine’s company moved on to help businesses avoid taxes through strictly legal methods. In the Netherlands, the combined pressures of income tax, VAT, inheritance tax, inflation, and other forms of taxation add up to an astounding 80%, according to calculations by Amsterdam professor Roel Beetsma. Legal tactics of avoiding taxes are widely used by large corporations like Starbucks, Apple and Ikea, however, Toine Manders had attracted special attention from the government by running controversial ads that stated “Taxation is theft”. The ads went on to say that it was people’s moral duty to pay as little in taxes as possible, as the government is a criminal enterprise. Unable to hire teams of accountants to do it for them, Toine also tried to help smaller business make use of legal tax avoidance methods. The first signs of government backlash appeared in 2008 when his radio commercial ‘taxation is theft’ was banned by the Reclame Code Commissie (Commercial Ethics Commission) on the basis of being ‘in violation of decency’, along with a defense of the social contract. For fear of losing their licenses …

What’s really happening in Cyprus?

By George Rupert A little over ten years ago the famed Dutch Libertarian, Toine Manders, offered me a one-year contract to work in his office in Cyprus. For me, Cyprus was just what the doctor ordered, sun, sea, mountains, low taxes, offshore businesses, offshore banking, and lax enforcement of minor laws. The island was awash with money, unemployment was less than 1%, and the government ran a surplus. I was introduced to a lot of locals, and a Cypriot family even took me under their wing. I was cemented in, and ten years later I am still here. In 2004, the EU came with their pockets full of money, and much to my chagrin Cyprus joined. The country was now subject to a number of ridiculous regulations against things such as ‘producing too much milk’ or ‘hoarding sugar’. There were also EU produce laws mandating picture perfect produce, where cucumbers had to be straight and of a certain length. It was a complete shock to the system. Then in 2008—as economies around the world began to falter—Cypriots elected the communist Dimitris Christoflas. A man whose picture proudly displayed the image of Che Guevara in the background. I suddenly found myself under a Communist government with a bloated administration, 31 poorly performing state owned companies, and a financial mess on the horizon. Flash forward to 2012, the country is in real trouble, unemployment is around 10%, and the government is out of money. First they asked for and got a five year 2.5 billion euro loan from Russia, of which Cyprus could not even make its first payment. Then, hat in hand they asked the EU for 10.2 billion euros of support. At the start, the EU said that it would take 13 billion to clean the country up. The required …