There is increasing dissatisfaction with the European Union government in Brussels among member states. Its no secret that Italy, Greece, and a large segment of the population of France and Germany are fed up with the European Union telling them how to run their own countries. The latest government to complain about the alleged highhandedness of the European Union is that of Ireland.
As you have probably read, the European Commission has found that Ireland has been collecting far too few taxes from Apple, and it has ordered the Irish government to collect 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes from the company. The Irish government does not want the money and has vowed to fight the European Commission in court.
You would think that any government would be delighted at this large tax windfall, but it is not. The European Commission has accused Ireland of giving Apple preferential tax treatment, which appears to be true. It did so to create jobs. The Irish government feels that it has a sovereign right to set its own tax policy and that the European Union should keep its nose out of the matter. The Irish government also fears that if it collects the back taxes from Apple, its action will have a chilling effect on other companies that might want to locate in Ireland and provide good jobs for Irish men and women.
There is more at stake than this particular tax matter. The Irish government fears that it if gives in on this case, it may entirely lose its sovereignty over its own tax policy to Brussels. The feeling is so strong that if Ireland loses its appeal in court and must submit its tax policy to European Union oversight, some Irish politicians believe that Ireland should follow Britain out of the European Union.
What will we call it? Brexit and Grexit roll naturally off the tongue. Irxit does not.