Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

considered here whose statements were made available in the media examined by this paper. 
Research in this area is based on quotes which can be considered indicative of the groups of 
actors in question and which describe their interests well. The goal of the present chapter is 
only to identify the political actors on the basis of the published quotes. 
6.5.2 Interest groups 
These include all organized groups that do not belong to the political system in a narrow sense 
but that represent public interests. They bundle particular interests in society and reduce 
Looking through the source material on which this paper is based, it becomes clear that — in 
addition to the expected political actors (see below) — different interest groups were quoted in 
the German media and had a not insignificant impact on public opinion and thus were made 
visible. Essentially, the following six interest groups have been identified: 
Public prosecutors' offices 
Financial publics in Germany and Liechtenstein 
Tax investigators 
German Tax Union 
German Taxpayers Association 
Representatives of the German private sector 
Out of the myriad of quotes, only a representative small selection can be made for purposes of 
this paper. 
First, the representatives of various public prosecutors' offices must be mentioned, which 
got the ball rolling, were obviously the driving force in the Zumwinkel case (or at least 
presented themselves that way and appeared as such in the first few days), and received an 
astonishing amount of publicity for a justice authority. They willingly answered the media's 
questions and were always good for snappy and certainly also political statements. For 
instance, Bochum Senior Prosecutor Bernd Bieniossek said on 19.2.2008 according to the 
Dow Jones news agency, "Why should our investigators contact Liechtenstein? [...] We would 
never have gotten help anyway. [..] Of course, it would be better for fair taxation, if 
Liechtenstein adopted a more cooperative stance." This was a not atypical reduction of reality 
in the first days of the tax affairs — at the level of public prosecutor's offices, Liechtenstein- 
German cooperation has been very good for many years. In 2004 to 2007, Liechtenstein 
received an average of 48 requests for mutual legal assistance from Germany. The distinction 
that Liechtenstein actually only grants mutual legal assistance in cases of tax fraud, but not in 
cases of pure tax evasion, was only belatedly made by media reports. The Chief Public 
Prosecutor in Liechtenstein, Robert Wallner, responded immediately: "If our colleagues in 
Bochum already have the documents, they don't need me." (Stern, 21.2.2008, 34). 
Chief Public Prosecutor Wallner was also willing to announce certain conflicts of interest via 
the media: "I find it disconcerting, to say the least, that German authorities are paying money 
to a criminal in order to obtain the goods he has stolen." (Reuters, 19.2.2008). Otherwise, the 
Liechtenstein Office of the Public Prosecutor endeavored to disseminate objective 


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