Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

passed over the oversight body." (SZ, 21.2.2008, 6) and "We do not want the intelligence 
services suddenly to be responsible for prosecuting tax offenses." (Die Welt, 21.2.2008, 3). 
SPD chairman Kurt Beck also spoke numerous times and got involved in the public 
discussion: "We have to define legal norms so that such people are brought to justice and 
public trials are conducted." (dpa-AFX, 20.2.2008). This statement apparently refers to rich 
tax evaders and should probably also be understood in the context of the local elections in 
Hamburg on 24 February 2008. 
= Conclusion: Numerous representatives of the political parties used the tax affair to score 
political points for themselves and their parties. Some exaggerated in this 
regard and had to take back their statements relatively quickly, such as SPD 
chairman Kurt Beck. 
The BND, as an authority affiliated with the Federal Chancellery, can also be seen as a 
political actor; it played a central, but not uncontroversial, role in the tax affair. Various 
articles cited BND representatives in detail: "After careful legal review, the BND has decided 
to give the Federal Fiscal Authority the opportunity, by way of administrative assistance, to 
purchase the data." (Die Welt, 21.2.2008, 3); "We haven't reached the end of the flagpole yet 
by far." (Die Welt, 27.2.2008, 12); "Our staff still does not know what was stored on the data 
carrier." (FTD, 21.2.2008, 10); and "Never before has so much been claimed so widely about 
possible sources. This 1s disastrous, since sources are otherwise protected like the Holy Grail. 
This damages the work of the intelligence services for the long term. [...] There has to be a 
discussion about how confidential the cooperation between authorities can still be in future." 
(SZ, 26.2.2008, 1) 
> Conclusion: The publicity, most of which was negative, has enormously damaged the 
BND and recalled its inglorious role in the CDU donations scandal about 
ten years ago. 
Political actors in Liechtenstein 
The political actors in Liechtenstein in the case of the German tax affair include 
representatives of the (coalition) Government, representatives of the opposition (Free List) 
and the Princely House. The events described in Chapter 5.4, such as the press conference by 
Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of 
Justice Dr. Klaus Tschütscher on 19.2.2008 in Vaduz, the official visit by Prime Minister and 
Minister of Finance Otmar Hasler in Berlin on 20.2.2008, the signing of the Schengen 
agreement by Prime Minister Hasler on 28.2.2008 in Brussels, to name only a few here, 
contributed to the prominent statements by these actors in the German mass media. Most of 
the statements criticized the way Germany had behaved toward Liechtenstein, defended the 
legitimate interests of Liechtenstein and its citizens, and pointed out that tax evasion by 
German citizens was primarily an internal German problem and most importantly that 
Liechtenstein had been engaged on a continuous path of reform for many years. 
Prime Minister Hasler was especially concerned not to see bilateral relations endangered: 
"Naturally, we see increased pressure currently exerted on the Liechtenstein banking center. 
But we have done our homework, and the issues discussed in Germany have been around for 
years. [...] But we do not see a danger to the good bilateral relations between Germany and 
Liechtenstein because of the criminal activities of individuals." (Bild-Zeitung, 19.2.2008, 2). 


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