• Switzerland edition
 
German minister wants to ban sale of Swiss data
Photo: Thore Siebrands

German minister wants to ban sale of Swiss data

Published: 03 Sep 2012 08:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Sep 2012 08:47 GMT+02:00

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of the Liberal party (FDP), told the Rheinische Post that buying the data was currently a grey area legally but amounted to theft.

"Buying this data is a murky and highly problematic area both ethically and morally speaking but also judicially," she said.

"Someone who copies data onto a blank CD unbeknown to his employer is indisputably guilty of theft."

The German region of North Rhine-Westphalia declared earlier this month that it would continue to buy the data, considering it a useful way of helping trace fraud.

"Purchasing such data is legal. That has been decided by the highest legal authority. Therefore we will continue to buy such data," Hannelore Kraft told the Bild newspaper.

The data purchased recently indicated that Swiss banks were offering clients tips on how to transfer cash away from Switzerland to Asia before a planned tax deal between the two countries comes into force, said Kraft, according to Bild.

The two neighbours have been embroiled in a spat over tax since 2010 when German authorities raided branches of Credit Suisse bank in 13 German cities after buying data on suspected tax frauds.

Switzerland reacted angrily, saying the data were stolen in violation of its banking secrecy laws. As much as €180 billion ($222 billion) in German assets are hidden in Switzerland, according to unconfirmed media reports.

A tax deal between the two countries, aimed at ending such disputes, is to take effect in January 2013 but still needs to be ratified by both parliaments.

The double taxation agreement, signed by ministers earlier this year, would see German citizens with assets parked in Switzerland's notoriously secretive banks paying a tax rate of 26.4 per cent on these holdings.

But opposition lawmakers in the German upper house, the Bundesrat, have threatened to block the deal.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Football club fires masseuse over sex video
FC Lenzburg team: "We could not fire half the team." Photo: FC Lenzburg

Football club fires masseuse over sex video

The masseuse for the Lenzburg football club, a second division team from the canton of Aargau, was fired following a sex scandal, a newspaper reported on Monday. READ  

Swiss teen Bencic scores upset Tokyo win
Bencic showing winning form in Tokyo. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Swiss teen Bencic scores upset Tokyo win

Rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic upset two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo Monday, maintaining recent impressive form. READ  

US buyout offer bites Nobel Biocare shares
Nobel Biocare's Zurich headquarters. Photo: Nobel Biocare

US buyout offer bites Nobel Biocare shares

US healthcare group Danaher aims to buy Nobel Biocare, the world's biggest dental implant specialist, for $2.2 billion, the companies said on Monday, causing the Swiss company's shares to dip. READ  

Mexican wingsuit flyer dies in Saint Gallen
Hikers walk below the Hinterrugg, the highest peak in the Churfirsten mountain chain. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Mexican wingsuit flyer dies in Saint Gallen

A 39-year-old Mexican wingsuit flyer is dead following an accident in the canton of Saint Gallen, cantonal police said on Monday. READ  

Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs

A village in the canton of Zurich faces having to raise taxes next year because of social costs amounting to 60,000 francs a month to support a family of refugees, Blick newspaper reported online on Monday. READ  

Two kids suspected in fire that razed church
Photo: Eglise Catholique Romaine-Geneve

Two kids suspected in fire that razed church

Two children under the age of ten are suspected of arson after a catholic church in a suburban area of the canton of Geneva went up in flames at the weekend. READ  

Woman dies in 200-metre Valais mountain fall
Photo: Valais cantonal police

Woman dies in 200-metre Valais mountain fall

A 59-year-old Swiss woman died following a 200-metre fall while hiking on the Grand Muveran mountain in the Bernese Alps, Valais cantonal police said on Sunday. READ  

Swiss head to Davis Cup final after beating Italy
Switzerland's captain Severin Lüthi (left) and Stan Wawrinka carry teammate Roger Federer as they celebrate winning the Davis Cup semifinal between Switzerland and Italy. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Swiss head to Davis Cup final after beating Italy

France will host Switzerland in the Davis Cup tennis tournament final in November after Roger Federer gave the Swiss the winning point against Italy in Geneva on Sunday. READ  

Swiss performers held in Croatia over naked walk
Artwork by the late Croatian artist and performer Tomislav Gotovac. Photo: AFP

Swiss performers held in Croatia over naked walk

Police detained three Swiss performers who were walking naked in downtown Zagreb as part of their show at an alternative art festival in the Croatian capital on Saturday. READ  

Swiss banks at post-secrecy crossroads
Photo: AFP

Swiss banks at post-secrecy crossroads

As Switzerland's long-cherished banking secrecy practices evaporate, the institutions that helped create the world's largest offshore tax haven are dramatically rethinking their business models in a bid to survive. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
Travel
Switzerland remains world champion for per capita train travel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,047
jobs available