Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nazis and bank secrecy again

Recently we had Liechtenstein slinging the Nazi allegation at Germany, after the German finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, understandably criticised the little Alpine secrecy jurisdiction for helping wealthy German citizens evade taxes.

Now we've got a new Nazi slur, this time in the form of a communiqué from the right wing SVP party in Switzerland. Loosely translating an automatic translation, here's what the Swiss newspaper Blick had to say (original text here):

"Just a few days ago, the German finance minister Steinbrück, in the context of Swiss banking secrecy and a tax dispute between Switzerland and the EU, threatened to unleash his whip hand against Switzerland. Yesterday Steinbrück reiterated his stance and again took Switzerland to task for its lack of cooperation on tax evasion by German citizens.

Apparently the SVP had just been waiting for such harsh words from the neighboring country. Now they have decided to provoke back. On its website, the party writes: "With his whipping threats, Steinbrück reminds us of the Nazis in the 1930s."

Then, a note of moderation from the newspaper, with a wonderfully smoky turn of phrase:

"This is strong tobacco. Did the SVP really need to invoke the Nazi angle in the tax dispute with the Germans?"


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