Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Italy finance minister opposes UK-German style deals

We have been highly critical of tax deals recently reached between the UK and Germany, on the one hand, and Switzerland, on the other hand. We are not alone, it seems: Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti has also been taking a rather jaundiced view. From Swissinfo:
"Tremonti has been vociferous in his criticism of deals which avoid the automatic exchange of information about bank clients.
He reiterated his position forcefully in Brussels on Wednesday, telling journalists he did not believe the bilateral agreements that Switzerland is about to negotiate with Germany and Britain were compatible with either the spirit or the content of the EU directive on the taxation of savings."
Tax-news provided more details about what Tremonti said (hat tip: Tax Research).
"He has now said that the agreements being negotiated with Switzerland compromise, and are “plainly against the spirit of”, the existing EU regulations. He said that Italy could not agree to the EU Directive being “violated” by bilateral agreements. He pointed out that he is awaiting a reply within Ecofin on their unacceptability, and that “without a reply, there could not be unanimity”.
Swissinfo, which tends to view bank secrecy rather fondly (though not entirely uncritically) says Tremonti is taking a "hardline" position. No, he isn't. He is taking an entirely reasonable position.

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