Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

prosecutor's office arrived to search postal chief Zumwinkel's house at seven o'clock in the 
morning. To this day, it is not entirely clear how the media learned of the house search in 
advance, even though there is much speculation in this regard. 
Sometimes the media were seemingly objective mediators of messages by all possible interest 
groups; sometimes they appeared to be the mouthpiece of German politicians who made their 
ideas known via the media (SZ, for instance, appeared to like citing "its" Federal Minister of 
Finance Peer Steinbrück, e.g. in SZ of 19 June 2008, 22, "Instruments of torture"); sometimes 
they appeared to want to release pent-up emotions and reported in a very biased or at least 
very polemic manner. The Liechtenstein side often had the feeling that it wasn't adequately 
heard, or only if the messages were meaty enough (e.g. the press conference of Hereditary 
Prince Alois and Deputy Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher on 19 February 2008 in Vaduz 
and the subsequent media coverage). In any event, the media made a substantial contribution 
to the emotionality of the situation or at least did not help quiet down the situation. 
The topics presented by the media and the processes in which the mass media were integrated 
will be described in more detail in Chapters 6.6 and 6.7. 
= Conclusion: As suspected, the mass media play a central role, whereby interaction with 
other actors was not a one-way street. 
6.5.4 The active and passive audience 
The active audience does not constitute a "group" in the group-sociological sense. 
Membership is defined by active participation in public opinion processes. In contrast to 
political actors or interest groups, the active audience cannot be subdivided into relatively 
homogeneous, organized units. 
For instance, numerous lawyers were represented in the media. Presumably, their primary 
goal was to promote themselves. Academics were called upon to discuss the lawfulness of the 
acquisition of stolen data from a Liechtenstein bank and the utilization thereof by German 
authorities, and they offered many at times divergent comments on these questions (see 
Chapter 6.6). 
The events surrounding 14 February and the Zumwinkel affair were used by many citizens as 
an occasion to express their opinion about the other actors in letters to the editor and e-mails. 
The opinions of those showing respect for Liechtenstein and its options for "bringing hard- 
earned money to safety" and the opinions of those believing it "outrageous" that "money was 
unlawfully being taken from the German State that it urgently needs for infrastructure and 
social institutions" were relatively balanced in terms of quantity (see also Chapter 
According to Capital of 28.2.2008 (p. 22), there were voices from Switzerland saying, "The 
Prussians are using their intelligence service to shoot at their citizens' money stashes." And 
the former German ambassador to Switzerland, Frank Elbe, said, "Not much respect for 
Liechtenstein has been shown lately." 


Sehr geehrte Benutzerin, sehr geehrter Benutzer,

aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Webtechnologie, die im Goobi viewer verwendet wird, unterstützt die Software den von Ihnen verwendeten Browser nicht mehr.

Bitte benutzen Sie einen der folgenden Browser, um diese Seite korrekt darstellen zu können.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.