• 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

Swiss confirm European terror plot by three Iraqis

Swiss authorities confirmed on Friday that three Iraqis arrested in March are suspected of having planned a terrorist attack in Europe on behalf of the Islamic State group. READ  

Violent teen rearrested after therapy fails
Carlos was arrested in Zurich. Photo: Justin Otto

Violent teen rearrested after therapy fails

Following a fight in Zurich city centre, police have rearrested a teenager with a history of violent behaviour whose costly therapy programme provoked public outrage earlier this year. READ  

Gold reserves boost Swiss national profits
Swiss gold reserves rose in value by 3.3 billion euros. Photo: Bullion Vault

Gold reserves boost Swiss national profits

The Swiss central bank reported a profit equivalent to 23.6 billion euros for the first nine months of the year on gains from currency trading and a rise in the value of its gold reserves. READ  

Kosovan sex slave flees Switzerland for Austria
File photo: Francesco di Fazio

Kosovan sex slave flees Switzerland for Austria

A 19-year-old woman from Kosovo who claims she was forced into prostitution and kept as a sex slave in a cellar in Switzerland for almost three years has sought asylum in Austria. READ  

Swiss shun religion for the supernatural
Some 24 percent of those surveyed said they believed in angels. Photo: K Hurley

Swiss shun religion for the supernatural

While the number of religious people in Switzerland is on the decline, nearly two thirds of Swiss believe in the supernatural, according to a new survey. READ  

Swiss politicians against pedestrians on phone
Texting in the street is a dangerous distraction, feel politicians. Photo: Matthew Kenwrick

Swiss politicians against pedestrians on phone

The days of whatsapping while walking could be over in Switzerland if some politicians get their way. Members of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) are calling for people who walk about the streets with their eyes on their smartphones to be punished, saying they are a danger to themselves and others. READ  

Federer advances as Wawrinka falls in Paris
Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Federer advances as Wawrinka falls in Paris

Roger Federer advanced at the Paris Masters tennis tournament on Thursday after beating Frenchman Lucas Pouille in two sets. READ  

Geneva doctors dress for battle with Ebola virus
Health workers take part in pre-deployment training. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Geneva doctors dress for battle with Ebola virus

Sweating behind fogged-up goggles, Thanh Dang meticulously follows each instruction as she peals away layers of protective clothing, stopping repeatedly to wash her double-gloved hands in chlorine disinfectant. READ  

Former Coop Bank CEO faces three-year ban
FINMA found irregularities at the bank. Photo: Coop Bank

Former Coop Bank CEO faces three-year ban

The Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has banned former Coop Bank CEO Andreas Waespi from any managerial role for three years after it was found he manipulated share prices at the bank. READ  

Federal law aims to ease Swiss rent rises
New tenants will now have the right to know the rent paid by their predecessors. Photo: Ruth Hartnup

Federal law aims to ease Swiss rent rises

Anyone taking on a new lease on a rental property in Switzerland will have the right to know what rent the landlord charged the previous tenants under new changes to the tenancy law. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Job candidates unhappy with hiring process in Switzerland
National
Glacier 3000 opens new foot bridge spanning two mountains in Vaud
National
Swiss seek special Unesco heritage listing for yodelling and watchmaking
International
Switzerland regarded as best place in world for expats: global survey
National
Red faces at Migros over Hitler and Mussolini coffee cream pots
National
Quarter of workers in Switzerland 'stressed out': new survey
Travel
Lonely Planet ranks Zermatt among top places to visit in 2015
National
Majority of Swiss back proposed new immigration curbs: poll
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
National
Expat American professor disputes 'unjust' Swiss citizenship rejection
National
Sputtering eurozone drags down Swiss economic growth forecast
Features
Swiss-based English expat writer lauds immigrant 'brains and brawn'
International
Our survey: Switzerland third priciest for food and drink from back home
National
Zurich market gardener sets world 'record' for heaviest pumpkin
National
Report: Switzerland's residents richer than before economic crash
Features
Geneva lab sleuths use high tech to help art world uncover fakes
National
Father of Scot missing since early September fears Swiss trauma
National
Foreign women give birth to rising share of newborns: latest figures
National
'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel uni botanical garden bigger than ever
National
Switzerland's voters reject public health insurance proposal
National
Zooming foreign immigration continues to boost Swiss population
National
Scientific study rings alarm over wellbeing of Swiss cows with bells
National
Geneva MP seeks ban on charging for tap water in restaurants
Business & Money
Switzerland's residents top world financial wealth list: Allianz report
National
Saint Maurice abbey in Valais celebrates 1,500 years of history
National
Streaming movie video service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
National
Professional Chilean base jumper dives to death in Swiss Alps
Education
ETH Zurich remains top university in Europe: QS world rankings
National
Switzerland's housing vacancy rate jumps: new federal figures
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
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
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
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

2,201
jobs available