Liechtenstein prince angers German Jews

Published on 18 August 2009 at 12:43

The Independent reports that Liechtenstein has angered German Jews by using the Holocaust as an excuse not to tighten its banking regulations. "We and Switzerland saved many people, especially Jews, with banking secrecy," Prince Hans-Adam II told the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt. He further elaborated that German Jews were able to buy their safety and that the hidden bank accounts still serve those avoiding oppression in "Third World countries run by bloodthirst dictators". The German government has been putting pressure on Lietchtenstein to clamp down on its secretive banking practices, which it believes allow wealthy Germans to avoid paying taxes.

These comments are particularly ill-timed, less than a week after Liechtenstein signed an agreement with the UK, promising to tighten tax loopholes and bring an estimated £1bn to the British government in unpaid taxes. The Guardian described this as a 'ground-breaking' deal, which could encourage 5,000 Britons to come clean about their savings. Cracking open the tax havens such as those of Liechtenstein and Switzerland were amongst the objectives agreed upon at the G20 summit last April.

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