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Fiji Water to Leave Fiji

If you bottle the water outside of Fiji, is it still Fiji Water? While we Westerners think of Fiji as an idyllic tropical destination with pristine beaches and turquoise waters, the real story of the remote South Pacific island is a much different reality. As TIME reported in September, the tiny island has been under military rule since a coup in 2006, its press is muzzled and it’s economy has declined due in part to sanctions imposed by the European Union and its neighbors, Australia and New Zealand.

The latest twist in this saga involves the high-end water brand of the same name. Fiji Water announced Monday that it is shutting down operations in Fiji after the government proposed an “extraction tax” of 15 cents a liter (up from one-third of a cent). The proposed tax hike comes just one week after David Roth, Fiji Water director of external affairs, was deported for allegedly interfering in the domestic affairs and governance of Fiji.

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