Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

matter for the client." (a speaker of the Association of German Banks, Die Welt, 28.2.2008, 
Conclusion: By and large, the representatives of the financial publics, at least the banking 
associations, were present with matter-of-fact statements in the media. 
Interestingly, while the topic of Liechtenstein foundations — which is closely associated with 
the professional group of trustees — repeatedly surfaced in the examined media, the 
Liechtenstein Association of Professional Trustees did not express itself in the examined 
media and does not appear there. 
> Conclusion: Even in the present case, the Liechtenstein Association of Professional 
Trustees lived up to its reputation of absolute discretion and kept its 
profession out of the media. 
Another interest group — even though it could be called the "long arm of the German Federal 
Ministry of Finance, a political actor" — is made up of German tax investigators, who drew 
attention in the media with pithy statements and opinions: "Nobody can clean house so 
thoroughly that we can't find anything." (tax investigation circles, Bild-Zeitung, 19.2.2008, 2) 
"Everyone should still have time to turn themselves in." (director of the Berlin tax 
investigation authority, Wolfgang Lübke, Bild-Zeitung, 19.2.2008, 2) "Zumwinkel is small- 
fry in comparison." (tax investigation circles, with regard to the assumption that perpetrators 
were on the investigation list who had evaded many times more than Zumwinkel, 
Handelsblatt, 22.2.2008, Cash Daily, 22.2.2008, 6) or "When we are able to dry up the 
swamp, we should do so." (chief officer of a Rhine region tax investigation authority, Capital, 
28.2.2008, 22). 
=> Conclusion: With their statements, tax investigators built up huge media pressure as an 
actor, thus supporting Federal Minister of Finance Steinbrück. 
The German Tax Union on the one side often expressed itself via its Federal Chairman 
Dieter Ondracek, emphasizing the interests underlying the entire operation: "To my 
knowledge, a total of several thousand individuals have turned themselves in or will turn 
themselves in." (Ondracek, FTD, 22.2.2008, 12). 
Conclusion: With its media appearances, the German Tax Union supported the "coalition 
of tax enforcers". 
On the other side, the President of the Germany Taxpayers Association, Karl-Heinz Dàke, 
appeared as the representative of the interests of German taxpayers: "A higher penalty would 
not help here either. Indeed, only a revision and simplification of tax law would help." 
(Reuters, 19.2.2008). These interests are, in the nature of the matter, not the same as those of 
the German Tax Union: "Our tax havens are in those areas where relatively many rich people 
live. That is where the audit service is understaffed." (Ondracek, FTD, 22.2.2008, 12) and 
"The existing penalties, which provide for up to 10 years in prison, are sufficient. They simply 
need to be exhausted." (idem, dpa-AFX, 21.2.2008). 


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