Bloomberg reports that:
Liechtenstein's Crown Prince Alois criticized German authorities for their handling of a tax- evasion probe, calling Germany's use of intelligence methods to snare tax cheats an ``attack'' on the principality.
Alois spoke at a briefing in the Liechtenstein capital Vaduz today, adding that the country will take legal measures to guarantee the secrecy of its bank clients.
Angela Merkel is reported to have yesterday that Liechtenstein must increase transparency in its banks and other financial institutions.
Alois' response was unambiguous:
Germany has clearly failed to understand how one behaves toward a friendly state. Germany won't solve the problems of its tax system with this attack on Liechtenstein.
He seems to miss the point that, as the OECD has pointed out, Liechtenstein is the aggressor here:
seek[ing] to profit from tax dodging by residents of other jurisdictions.
Instead he said:
It can't be our responsibility to view every client as an extended arm of the German authorities, demanding before he opens an account that he declare everything he has in Germany
Quite right. But it is his responsibility for providing absolute secrecy that means they can get away with it. And he knows that is the only purpose of the laws his state passes, and of the services his company provides.
His state and his company facilitate money laundering. The evidence is unambiguous.