November 01, 2002

In an astonishing display of chutzpah, the European Union filed another lawsuit (the third in two years) against RJ Reynolds, this time accusing them of sponsoring terrorism and attempting to link them to the Hussein regime by selling cigarettes in Iraq.

Ten of the fifteen countries in the EU supported the head office; the dissenting nations were Britain, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark. The EU has claimed that big tobacco companies are flooding Eastern Europe with cigarettes, some of which end up in EU countries via black market sales. They claim that black market sales deprive them of billions of dollars in lost tax revenues. The last lawsuit filed in the US byt he EU was dismissed by a judge who stated that US courts had no jurisdiction over foreign tax issues. The new tack appears to be aimed at currying support by linking the companies to unpopular regimes and organizations. (I will leave the interpretation of the last statement to the reader.)

posted on November 01, 2002 05:07 PM


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