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Green Light For German Govt To Purchase Data Disc

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the government’s highly controversial decision to purchase the stolen data disc, containing the names of around 1,500 Germans believed to hold bank accounts illegally in Switzerland.

According to Chancellor Merkel, the decision to purchase the bank data disc had followed a difficult legal evaluation of the matter, and had been jointly taken by both the federal government and the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, the particular state involved.

Expressing her belief that there is a common interest in obtaining the information, the German Chancellor emphasized the fact that tax evasion is anything but a trivial offence.

Merkel’s remarks follow hot on the heels of an earlier announcement made by North Rhine-Westphalia’s Finance Minister, Helmut Linssen. According to Linssen, legal examinations had concluded that the North Rhine-Westphalian tax authorities would not incriminate themselves by purchasing the disc. Consequently, state investigators will now be able to begin negotiations with the informant, he confirmed.

Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is eager to conclude the EUR2.5m deal swiftly.

It is thought that by purchasing the disc, the government will generate in the region of EUR400m in additional revenues. This estimation is based on the analysis of one hundred samples taken from the data collection.