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Cabinet condemns German bank data buy

The Swiss government on Wednesday slammed a German move to buy client information stolen from banks in Switzerland but said it would keep talking.

In a strongly worded statement, the cabinet expressed “astonishment” at the German plan and said it “violates public policy and the principle of good faith”.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Tuesday said a decision had been made “in principle” to buy the information, reported to concern some 1,500 possible tax evaders and costing €2.5 million (SFr3.68 million).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week signalled support for the purchase.

In a media conference, Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rodolf Merz “condemned” the theft.

The cabinet said it wished to resolve the problem of the stolen data but said it would not provide administrative assistance for cases based on the stolen information.

Switzerland will also continue to pursue a double taxation accord with Germany in accordance with the Organization for Co-operation and Development Model Tax Convention. and agencies

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