Is it time to sanction countries that commit grave offenses within U.S. borders... such as double-parking in front of a New York City fire hydrant?
According to draft legislation pushed by New York lawmakers, the time has come. Reuters reports that various diplomats owe New York City $17 million in unpaid parking tickets.
The three worst offenders are Indonesia ($725,000), Nigeria ($1 million) and Egypt ($1.9 million.)
The draft legislation, according to Reuters, would shut off diplomatic driving licenses to any country that stiffs the U.S. The oultet also notes that, legally, 110 percent of unpaid fines can be sapped from the offending country's debt obligations or promised aid payments.
But this rarely happens.
An Indonesian lawmaker contacted by the Jakarta Post admitted that the fines have "embarassed" the Indonesian government. "We don’t understand how we could have gotten such high fines," he said. We could have paid them because the money for the Foreign Ministry has always been channeled on time."