- Title: GERMANY: Germany and Switzerland agree double taxation deal
- Date: 27th March 2010
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MARCH 26, 2010) (REUTERS) SWISS FINANCE MINISTER HANS-RUDOLF MERZ SITTING DOWN FOR NEWS CONFERENCE WITH GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE REPORTERS SEATED / PODIUM EUROPEAN UNION, SWISS AND GERMAN FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER, WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE SAYING: "This planned revised protocol enables an exchange of information in line with norms established by article 26 of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development." REPORTERS SEATED WIDE OF PODIUM CAMERA CREWS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER, WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE SAYING: "We do not have a common position on how to deal with such (stolen) data collections. Minister Merz and the Swiss government on the one side and the German finance minister and the German government on the other side don't (agree). As I said, at the time I took the decision (to buy the stolen data) I made clear I first needed to discuss it with Mr. Merz." REPORTER WRITING ON LAPTOP COMPUTER MERZ SPEAKING PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKING PICTURES (SOUNDBITE) (German) SWISS FINANCE MINISTER, HANS-RUDOLF MERZ SAYING: "Let us put this legacy behind us and let me say that in Switzerland, there are in fact untaxed assets. (pauses) The situation is such that it's necessary for German tax authorities to get a hold of those untaxed assets and make them taxable. We want to deal with this situation." REPORTER TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (German) SWISS FINANCE MINISTER, HANS-RUDOLF MERZ SAYING: "Contrary to popular belief at times, Switzerland's financial centre does not live from tax evasion. Rather, Switzerland's financial centre is marked by qualities such as technology, tradition, its products, its currency and its legal order." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 11th April 2010 04:18
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: International Relations,Finance
- Reuters ID: LVA4I9CDFE93BI43KOEHJDBK8G9I
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Germany and Switzerland agree a new double taxation deal as Swiss finance minister says his country does not live from tax evasion.
Germany and Switzerland on Friday (March 26) agreed a new double taxation deal that will clarify tax disclosure rules for the Alpine country's multi-trillion-dollar wealth management industry.
The German Finance Ministry said the agreement would enable an exchange of information in line with norms established by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Switzerland has watered down its treasured bank secrecy law recently, caving in to pressure from the United States and European governments which are cracking down on tax evasion.
Germany, along with Italy, the United States and France, has been one of the most fervent critics of the country's banking secrecy and has paid for stolen data from Swiss banks to catch tax cheats.
Germany's willingness to buy stolen bank data increased pressure on Switzerland's large private banking industry and stirred emotions in both countries. Germans hold an estimated 200 billion euros in undeclared funds in Switzerland.
Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz told reporters during a joint news conference with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble that "contrary to popular belief at times, Switzerland's financial centre does not live from tax evasion."
Switzerland's Finance Department said on Friday Germany had recognised in the talks that the Alpine nation would not give administrative assistance in cases of bank data bought from a third party.
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