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German Finance Minister rouses Swiss displeasure

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German Finance Minister rouses Swiss displeasure


Switzerland has hit out angrily after comments made by Germany’s finance minister that it should be placed on a tax haven blacklist.

The German request came at a Paris conference yesterday, as countries met to update the list of tax shelters. But, Switzerland says, it has become an unfair target.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said:
‘‘It is easy to find a scapegoat when you have difficulties. Maybe it is easier to explain the fault lies elsewhere.’‘

Some 17 countries, led by France and Germany, met to draw up a new list. The push comes as states seek to stop undeclared revenue and non-regulated hedge funds which have been partly blamed for the recent financial crisis.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said:
‘‘Switzerland offers conditions that invite the German taxpayer to evade taxes. Therefore, in my view, Switzerland belongs on such a blacklist.’‘

Monaco, Andorra and Liechtenstein are currently on the list. Countries have until the middle of next year to decide who they will add to it.

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