At last, an honest politician!

February 23rd, 2008

Heretofore heroic Liechtenstein — one of the world’s great tax havens — has come under fire recently, as Germany has used spies in the tiny principality’s banks to find tax evaders.

The Financial Times predictably takes Germany’s side (“governments are right to insist that those who live in a country, and benefit from public services, pay tax”), but notes that Germans’ desire to flee a 50% tax rate is understandable.

Let’s hope Liechtenstein stands its ground, unlike other former tax havens that have caved under international (i.e., U.S.) pressure and compromised their banking-secrecy laws.

Germany, of course, violated Liechtenstein’s laws by paying bank insiders to share individuals’ private financial information.

One German politician is unapologetic, and deserves credit for at least stating the matter bluntly: “[That this was illegal] is irrelevant. What Germany will do is confront every tax suspect with the option of whether they want to drop their trousers and cooperate or possibly go to jail.”

At last, a politician who tells the truth. Let all Germans take heed to this (of course, they will not):

Breaking the laws of any country is irrelevant if it gets you what you want.

That is precisely what this man said, he said what he meant, and everyone everywhere should understand that this is a universal truth, not just something that applies to Germany.

Anyone who still believes that there is a rule of law anywhere is insane. Its every man for himself, and this is how those people listed on that stolen DVD have been living.

I guarantee you that the people who are going to prosecute these free livers are going to be able to bribe and work the German system so that they ‘get off’ with not even a scratch.

And wait a minute..

Did he say, “Drop their trousers?”!!

What a bunch of dirty BASTARDS.

7 Responses to “At last, an honest politician!”

  1. Alun Says:

    The UK’s tax authority has confirmed that it has paid an informant for data regarding British citizens who have accounts in tax haven Liechtenstein.

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) confirmed the move after a Sunday Times report, but would not say how much it had paid the informant.

    HMRC said it was seeking “to protect the UK exchequer from those who seek to hide behind secrecy laws”.

    Separately Germany is involved in its own probe over Liechtenstein accounts.

    The Sunday Times newspaper claimed the amount paid to the informant was

  2. irdial Says:

    This BBQ article linking from the one you cite is one of the most amazing propaganda pieces I have ever seen on BBQ. Simply astonishing, by every measure you can think of.

    In last nights Evening Standard, there were many pages about the non-dom debacle; one full page (5), saying that nine senior american bankers are already in the advanced stages of planing to leave, there is a piece on the opinion page (12), and then another full page piece in the comment page on (13). Even ‘Socialist to the bone’ Ken Livinsgton is against the new measures.

    This government is against prosperity, does not understand what causes it, is reckless in its Old Labour in sheep’s clothing complete hatred for the rich (the ones who can actually create the culture that they want children to have four hours a week of). They are like men who hate females because only a woman can give birth.

    They are already trying to fix this by making concessions, but yet again, this betrays their complete misunderstanding of what they have done; they have broken a gentlemen’s agreement, they have lost the confidence of these people and proven that they cannot be trusted. Once trust is gone, it is almost impossible to put back into place; people who need to plan ahead do not want to base their operations in a country where the government is going to pull surprises every six months.

    So sad.

    And the worst part of it is, that no one will be buying art here or bringing their art here, or bequeathing their collections to the state when they die; other, more friendly countries will get those priveleges. and like it says in the Standard article, the auction houses and galleries are all going to suffer.

    The impact will be in the multi billions of pounds; all of it lost because some sour grape assholes who are of the school that says ‘Eton should be closed’ cannot bear that there are any wealthy people ruining their vision of a socialist collective in Britain.

    What a complete and utter bunch of MORONS.

  3. Alun Says:

    The non-dom thing Comrade Broon proposed was for a

  4. irdial Says:

    And not only is it

  5. irdial Says:

    Now governments all over the world are accessories after the fact:

    IRS searches for hidden U.S. assets in Liechtenstein banks

    By Christian Retzlaff and Kim Murphy Los Angeles Times February 27, 2008

    BOCHUM, GERMANY — Investigators have traced more than $296 million in German assets to secretive foundations in Liechtenstein in a widening, worldwide tax-evasion investigation in which 163 Germans have admitted guilt, prosecutors said Tuesday.

    Separately, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced that it was initiating enforcement action against 100 American taxpayers in connection with Liechtenstein accounts.

    The probes were launched after a former Liechtenstein bank employee, now in hiding, sold secret bank records to the German intelligence agency. Authorities in the U.S. and Europe want to know whether shadowy foundations in the tiny, mountainous principality between Austria and Switzerland have sheltered billions of dollars on which taxes were never paid.

    German authorities said they had collected $39 million in back taxes from 91 suspects so far, while 72 others had come forward and offered to pay levies to avoid prosecution.

    “This sum is increasing daily,” said Hans-Ulrich Krueck, prosecutor in charge of white-collar crime in Bochum, in whose jurisdiction many of the purported crimes occurred.

    He said the investigation was also focusing on a small number of employees at four banks, three of them in Germany, suspected of helping their clients hide their funds in anonymous trusts in Liechtenstein. In an era of increasingly strict international financial transparency regulations, the country is renowned for its powerful bank secrecy laws.

    Tax administrators in Britain, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand and Sweden are also conducting probes as a result of the banking data.

    British officials believe that more than $190 million in unpaid taxes could be identified through the investigation.

    Analysts said the inquiry marked the reversal of a decade of lax international pursuit of tax-haven investigations they said waned severely in the last eight years or so.

    “They’ve had a free rein of it for years,” said Richard Murphy, London-based senior advisor to the Tax Justice Network, which has campaigned to end tax havens around the world.

    In Germany, skyrocketing salaries for corporate elites and the growth of a poor underclass have stiffened the political will to pursue wealthy tax cheats.

    “It’s because of the extremely inflated executives’ wages in the past decade,” said Jan Hagen, a banking expert at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. “The gap is growing between the super-rich and the super-poor, and ordinary people think those on top are taking out Germany like one big self-service mart.”

    Estimates of the amount of potential unpaid German taxes have ranged from $420 million to $5.6 billion. Authorities said Tuesday that they were focusing on 120 cases involving 150 suspects.

    The probe already has targeted former Deutsche Post Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel, who was forced to resign this month after prosecutors accused him of evading up to $1.4 million in taxes by sheltering money in a Liechtenstein foundation.

    “Citizens have become indignant about it — including me,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in her weekly podcast.

    The incriminating bank data were sold by Heinrich Kieber, 42, a computer expert who worked from 1999 to 2002 for Liechtenstein’s LGT Treuhand bank. Kieber sold four DVDs containing the data to the German intelligence agency, the BND, for $7.4 million ($6.2 million after taxes), German press reports said.

    British authorities reportedly paid an additional $190,000 for data on British clients after the German investigation began bearing fruit.

    But the fact that the new cases appear to be based on secretly purchased, stolen data is providing fodder for defense lawyers and general expressions of outrage from officials in Liechtenstein and at LGT, the wealth and asset management group of the Liechtenstein royal family.

    LGT officials have said it is “utterly refuted” that their foundation clients are necessarily tax evaders, and Justice Minister Klaus Tschuetscher said the issue of tax evasion had “nothing at all” to do with Liechtenstein’s laws of secrecy on foundations.

    “If someone stuffs his untaxed money into a mattress, you wouldn’t go and tell the mattress maker he can no longer make mattresses,” he said at a recent news conference.

    The foundations in question operate like trusts, but there is no record of who created the foundations or for whose benefit, except for the legal intermediaries. Tax rates are very low, but deposits are so high — by some estimates as much as $100 billion, though the exact amount is not publicly known — the revenue is thought to provide about one-third of all the principality’s tax revenues.

    “You don’t buy a zero-percent tax rate,” Murphy said. “What you buy when you go to a tax haven is secrecy. And that’s the reason they’re so popular for those who have a great deal of money.”

    kim.murphy (at)

    Special correspondent Retzlaff reported from Bochum, Murphy from London.

    Los Angeles Times

  6. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Germany VS Google Says:

    […] be FOR Google taking everything to make his STASIesque job easier. Remember, this is the same criminal German government that conspired and had stolen to order the details of bank accounts from …; a criminal act of international espionage and base theft of the kind that ‘organized […]

  7. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » From the absurd to the incomprehensible: incompetent firms put in charge of ContactPoint Says:

    […] That is why banks still get robbed. This data will be worth BILLIONS, and as we have seen with the criminal German government who paid money to have stolen to order, the private bank details of p…, there is no end that companies and governments will go to to get at valuable data. I can guarantee […]

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