France stands by use of stolen bank data

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FT.com / Europe - France stands by use of stolen bank data.

France said on Sunday that it had committed no crime in using a stolen list of Swiss bank accounts to track French tax evaders as a row between Bern and Paris over banking secrecy intensified.

“France is committing no fraud, the tax evaders are,” said Eric Woerth, budget minister, in an interview on Canal Plus. “What counts is that we obtained [the information] legally.”

Quite so.

It's extraordinary that tax evaders - common criminals guilty of theft - claim that the rule of law provides cover for their crime.

France has committed no crime.

And has an unpaid whistleblower who reports crime done more than breach contract? Unlike those he is reporting upon - both bank and tax evader - both of whom may have acted criminally?

The claim by Switzerland is a complete red herring. Of course France may use information obtained in this way.