German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble reportedly said on Tuesday the country would buy customer data stolen from Swiss banks.
“In principle, the decision has been made,” Schäuble is quoted as telling Germany’s Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
A German newspaper last Friday reported that an informant offered to sell data on 1,500 possible tax evaders to the German government for €2.5 million (SFr3.68 million).
In his comments, Schäuble said the case was similar to data on customers of Liechtenstein banks Germany bought two years ago.
“We therefore could not decide otherwise,” he said.
Schäuble pointed out that no German court had so far prohibited the country’s tax authorities from using the Liechtenstein data to pursue tax evaders.
Switzerland has in recent months come under pressure by its neighbours, including France and Italy, as well as the United States to crack down on tax dodgers and abolish its traditional banking secrecy.
swissinfo.ch and agencies