Monday, December 10, 2012

Four or more new strikes against Switzerland's "Rubik" dealings

Updated (see below): Some recent blows to Switzerland's transparency spoiler: its useless and immoral bilateral "Rubik" deals.
German opposition-led states say Swiss tax deal dead - Reuters
Although Germany's Bundesrat had struck down the deal, Swiss bankers had still been gathering for a last-ditch stand in a reconciliation deal, where horse-trading involving different pieces of legislation could have been brought to bear to try to resuscitate it. This avenue is now closed, it seems: the last nail in Germany's Rubik coffin.

France's Hollande rules out tax amnesty with Swiss - swissinfo
Swiss bankers had been hoping France could be lured back to the fold. Non! says Hollande, ruling out anything that involves a tax amnesty for evaders.

Germany's SPD names former finance minister as Merkel challenger - Reuters
Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) formally nominated former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck to run for chancellor against Angela Merkel next September. Steinbrück has been a vociferous opponent of Swiss banking secrecy and of the Rubik deal.

UK Rubik deal attacked
In the Financial Times. "The unseemly haste displayed by the three governments in opting for quick money rather than applying patient pressure contrasts unfavourably with the American approach. The sanctioning of anonymity breaches a basic principle: not to grant cheaters a privilege denied to those who play by the rules."

Walter-Borjans gegen Verjährung bei Steuerhinterziehung - Stern
Many tax evaders using Swiss bank accounts had been protected by a ten year statute of limitations. Walter-Borjans wants to change the system towards the method applied in the US, where the limitation period only begins with the submission of a correct tax return.

For an overview of what's wrong with Rubik, see the latest Guardian article.

One less encouraging sign: 

Mario Monti to quit as Italian Prime Minister - Guardian
Monti had been something of a supporter of Rubik, under pressure from Berlusconi who (predictably) loves the Swiss subterfuge. Berlusconi might return . . .



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