Swiss schadenfreude


Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has finally voiced what others have already been thinking: at least it's not just Switzerland feeling the tax evasion heat this time.

This content was published on April 8, 2013 minutes

"I'm glad that for once other financial centres are also being discussed," she told Swiss public radio on Monday. "We expect all tax havens around the world to be treated equally."

Thanks to a heap of offshore secrets being unearthed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a whole range of jurisdictions - from the Cook Islands to Singapore and the British Virgin Islands - are feeling the fierce gaze of public opprobium.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing calls from his Liberal Democrat allies to crack down on tax havens under British influence.

Not only that, but another French government minister has been accused in the past few days of holding secret assets in a Swiss bank account.

Luxembourg appears to be considering Germany's demands to automatically pass on data of German-held bank accounts.

And Algirdas Semeta, European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, is now turning the heat on Austria, a country that also holds banking secrecy dear.

"The spotlight is now on Austria. If it continues to resist this inevitable progress towards greater transparency, it will find itself in a lonely and unsustainable position," Semeta told Reuters on Monday.

Matthew Allen,

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