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The index will run into some flak. A country that applied the simple Roman maxim—“if you want peace, prepare for war”—would score badly. By unconditionally endorsing low military budgets and marking down high ones, the index may seem to give heart to freeloaders: countries that enjoy peace precisely because others (often America) care for their defence. Indeed, one of the ideas behind NATO and several other security pacts is that America's protection limits the need for medium-sized powers to be big military players in their own right.
Uma história para contar, sim senhor, umas quantas peripécias para desbobinar, com certeza; mas alguma coisa para ver? À excepção de meia-dúzia de planos com Keira Knightley (muito bonita) e dos três minutos com Keith Richards (muito feio), que são as poucas alturas em que alguém se chega à frente e diz "eu estou aqui" de maneira suficientemente convicta para que seja impossível à câmara ignorá-lo, a resposta é "não".
A tax-cut war is spreading across Europe as leaders of the Continent's biggest economies give up criticizing smaller neighbors for cutting business-tax rates and decide to join them instead.
"Corporate tax has been an important part of the story in strengthening growth, balances of payments, fiscal performance and currencies" in Eastern Europe, said Philip Poole, head of emerging-markets research at HSBC in London.
Now, falling budget deficits are making it easier for Sarkozy and other leaders to join the tax-cutting competition. JPMorgan Chase forecasts the budget shortfall in the 13 nations that share the euro will shrink to 1 percent of gross domestic product this year from 2.5 percent in 2005.
Supporters of lower corporate taxes point to the success of Ireland, whose 12.5 percent rate, the lowest in the developed world, is down from 47 percent in 1988. That proved a magnet for such U.S.-based technology companies as Microsoft, Intel and Dell and helped Ireland's economy grow more than three times the rate of the euro area in the past decade, while still running a budget surplus in nine of the 10 years.
Taxes are also only one factor companies consider when deciding where to locate. Employment regulations, work force skills, wage levels and infrastructure are also decisive.
Three times in a decade, Ireland’s “Teflon” taoiseach (prime minister) has led his party to a stunning victory. On June 14th, he is expected to be re-elected as taoiseach for a third successive term too.
In the end this vote for the status quo was a vote for the Celtic Tiger, and against any change that might threaten its survival.
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