VOTERS in a small Swiss town decided yesterday to donate SwFr110,000 (£75,435) of taxes paid by GlencoreXstrata chief executive Ivan Glasenberg to charity in a protest against the commodities giant’s business practices.
Voters in Hedingen, a town of around 3,500 inhabitants in the canton of Zurich, backed by 764 to 662 an initiative to donate about 10 per cent of the tax money the town received in the wake of Glencore’s initial public offering in 2011.
“(Hedingen) is making a clear sign of solidarity with those suffering the consequences of the extraction of raw materials,” the committee behind the vote for the donation said in a statement.
Glencore’s top shareholder Glasenberg, who lives in the Swiss town of Rueschlikon, paid SwFr360m in taxes in the canton of Zurich in 2011, Rueschlikon’s mayor Bernhard Elsener has told the media.
Hedingen received about SwFr1m under a redistribution scheme that smoothes out fiscal inequalities between the canton’s municipalities.
GlencoreXstrata, the group formed by the merger of Glencore and Xstrata this year, referred to a statement in its code of conduct: “We believe that GlencoreXstrata’s global presence and economic strength have a predominantly positive impact on the communities in which we operate. ..we seek to improve quality of life for the people in these communities.”