Patrick Donahue
February 2, 2010

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a newspaper interview that Germany will buy stolen information on Swiss bank accounts, backed by a poll showing voter support for the move if it helps fight tax fraud.

[efoods]The Swiss case is similar legally to a tax probe begun two years ago, when German authorities bought client data in Liechtenstein and used the information to pursue tax evaders, the southern German Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper cited Schaeuble as saying today in an interview.

“For this reason we could hardly decide otherwise,” Schaeuble was cited as saying. The decision has already been taken “in principle.” A Finance Ministry spokeswoman wasn’t immediately able to confirm his comments.

A majority of Germans, 57 percent, said they support using information on tax violations even if it was illegally obtained, a Forsa poll of 1,000 people for Stern magazine showed. Forty- three percent said they oppose such a move, the poll showed.


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