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Germany

German Tax Protester Won’t Pay Up If His Money Goes To Greece

German tax advisor Markus Zwicklbauer has stopped paying his taxes. Fiscal authorities can have his money, he says, provided they prove it’s being used for the common good of German citizens – and not “wasted” abroad.

Greek Prime Minister Papandreou and German Chancellor Merkel
Greek Prime Minister Papandreou and German Chancellor Merkel
Hannah Wilhelm

MUNICH – When it comes to tax matters, Germans aren't big on active resistance. They complain, they grumble, they rant about high taxes. Some find legal or semi-legal ways to avoid paying them. Others secretly evade tax payments. But it's pretty rare indeed for somebody to draw a line in the sand and simply refuse to pay: the Germans just aren't a nation of active fiscal protesters or tax strikers.

Not so Markus Zwicklbauer. For 30 years the 58-year-old resident of Fürstenzell bei Passau has not only been a tax advisor but also a model of probity as far as paying his own taxes goes. That's no longer the case. Except instead of creating a foundation in Liechtenstein to quietly hide his money from German fiscal authorities, Zwicklbauer is making his refusal very public indeed.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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