Sunday, January 31, 2010

Switzerland threatens Germany

No, not Switzerland's run-of-the-mill assault on Germany's taxpayers this time. Now Reuters is reporting:

"Top Swiss politicians, including President Doris Leuthard, and bankers warned Germany against acquiring the data."

The sheer nerve of these top politicians is breathtaking. This is data from a new informant, who is offering it for sale to Swiss authorities. This is not a completely straightforward case: there may be possible illegality involved in the obtaining data. Generally it is Germany's right-wingers such as the Free Democracts (FdP) who are advising against buying the data:

Otto Fricke, one of the Free Democrats’ finance policy experts, reminded the government of “the old saying – don’t do business with criminals”.

Members of the Green Party and Social Democrats, by contrast, urged the government to obtain the data on behalf of "honest taxpayers."

There are three reasons why Germany should obtain data. First, with German taxpayers having been roundly abused by the Swiss for decades, natural justice needs to tilt dramatically towards German taxpayers. Whose laws are being broken here?

Second, the mismatch in money involved - a tiny payment, for large direct tax revenues plus the chilling effect of the uncertainty for other tax evaders - is enormous. Third - well, the notion of dealing with tainted informants, in exchange for information to solve far bigger crimes, is firmly and honourably established in law - as is portrayed in any number of Hollywood films. Many convictions of mafia dons and other big-time criminals have been obtained this way. And there's plenty of precedent for exactly this kind of bank informant thing too.

Germany must obtain the data, without delay, and use it vigorously.


Post a Comment

<< Home