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Swiss seek to calm bank data row with Germany

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Swiss seek to calm bank data row with Germany


Switzerland is seeking a diplomatic solution to a row with Germany over tax evasion.

Berlin’s readiness to pay for stolen Swiss bank data belonging to potential tax dodgers has caused alarm in the Alpine nation. But, while Berne says it won’t help Germany or others hunt tax cheats in this way, it also won’t retaliate.

“The situation between the two governments, between the two countries, is good,” said Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz. “We must not put it in jeopardy. That achieves nothing, neither for Germany or Switzerland.”

The minister also stressed that Switzerland’s will to reach a new double taxation deal with Germany to help avoid further conflicts. But, as he spoke, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria were also showing interest in the stolen data from an unnamed Swiss bank, being offered by a whistleblower.

It comes as Berne struggles to honour a deal with Washington to end another tax row involving UBS.
Recently, France said it had obtained sensitive data on potential tax evaders, some of which belonged to the Swiss operations of HSBC.

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