More holes than in a Swiss Cheese!
There is currently a merry old ding-dong spat going on between the German and Swiss governments. Basically, someone has got hold of information about German citizens with bank accounts in Switzerland where they are hiding large sums on which they should pay German taxes.
This or these enterprising whistleblower(s) are offering to sell this data to the German government for a hefty fee. The German government is on the point of accepting to buy this “illegally-obtained” information from the (from the Swiss point of view) criminals who have stolen their secret bank data.
This story raises a large number of fascinating questions. It has long been common knowledge that Switzerland offers banking facilities with few questions asked. Any self-respecting criminal or tax evader has or had a secret, numbered Swiss account.
What has always amazed me is how they have got away with this for so long, stuck as they are in the centre of Europe. How is it possible that other countries have allowed Switzerland to become a haven for money obtained illegally in other countries?
For it is clearly immoral to profit from the illegal activities of foreign nationals, isn’t it? What exactly is the difference between this behaviour and “receiving stolen goods”? Worse, we have to remember that the largest sums come from drugs. Anyone willing to look after (or launder) drug money is complicit in the misery and deaths of millions of drug addicts worldwide. Yet the Swiss have pulled off this trick for decades. The Swiss banking (and government) fraternity has never shied away from shady dealings, being until the end of WWII covert supporters of the Nazis.
Well, Angela Merkel is going to do a deal with presumably Swiss “criminals” (according to the Swiss government) in order to recoup money it is owed by German criminals (according to Germany). What a merry old moral maze we have here. But in truth, the world is now too small and inter-connected to allow either tax evasion on a vast scale or the safeguarding of criminal funds.
Switzerland has to decide whether to remain as a supporter of tax evaders and gangsters (including of course African Presidents who have ripped their countries off in a big way) OR to join the real, civil, honest and inter-connected world.
The rest of us should stop tolerating this connivance with crime. “Client secrecy” is no excuse for condoning and profiting from crime.
More on the whole Nazi gold in Switzerland story is here.
By Chris Snuggs