Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

And Justice Minister Tschütscher clarified: "German citizens certainly also invest black 
money in cars. But no one wants to ban cars for that reason." (SZ, 23.2.2008, 3) and "Legal 
certainty includes respect for privacy. [...] Also in tax matters, Liechtenstein is based on a 
mentality of trust between citizens and authorities." (FTD, 25.2.2008, 25) and "It is more than 
incomprehensible that Germany mandated the EU Commission to conduct negotiations with 
Liechtenstein [i.e. on the EU Anti-Fraud Agreement that has been negotiated between the EU 
and Liechtenstein since the beginning of 2007], and then — during a phase of constructive 
talks — had its intelligence services purchase business secrets that had been obtained by a 
crime in Liechtenstein." (dpa-AFX, 19.2.2008). For "[...] if fraud should be identified, we are 
of course willing to grant mutual legal assistance." (Prime Minister Hasler, FAZ, 22.2.2008, 
> Conclusion: The German media certainly provided space for representatives of the 
Liechtenstein Government, but a review of the documents gives the 
impression that pithier and clearer language would have helped publicity. 
Liechtenstein was clearly in the defensive role and did not have as close 
relationships with the media as obviously some German Government 
members did, whose opinions were reported verbatim in some media (see 
Steinbrück's demands for "instruments of torture" for States such as 
Liechtenstein, which were reported by SZ on 19 June 2008, p. 22, without 
comment, as if by a press office). 
Paul Vogt, Member of Parliament of the Free List opposition party, summarized the 
situation as follows: "The scandal is shaking the foundations of the Liechtenstein financial 
center." (SZ, 27.2.2008, 30). 
> Conclusion: The Liechtenstein opposition was the only group in Liechtenstein that 
expressed (self-)critical remarks on the events and thus stabbed its own 
Government in the back in this international debate (see also final 
With his statements, Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein certainly expressed 
the public opinion in Liechtenstein and received much domestic policy recognition for that 
reason. As Head of State, he can rely on access to the mass media when he speaks in public, 
as in the press conference on 19.2.2008, which he conducted jointly with Justice Minister 
Tschütscher. "A grossly exaggerated attack has been launched against Liechtenstein. [...] 
Apparently, the goal is to deal in stolen goods on a massive scale." (Reuters, 19.2.2008) and 
"An international study has [...] classified the German tax system as the worst worldwide — 
even worse than Haiti. [...] The approach taken by the German authorities would not be 
protected by law in Liechtenstein." (Dow Jones, 19.2.2008) and "Is such an approach toward 
one of the smallest States in Europe [Liechtenstein is the fourth-smallest State in Europe, after 
Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino] really compatible with the basic principles of the 
democratic rule of law?" (Bórsenzeitung, 20.2.2008, 3) and "Germany will not solve the 
problem with its taxpayers by attacking Liechtenstein. [...] Germany should instead invest its 
tax revenue in improving its tax system rather than spending millions on data whose legal 
usability is in doubt." (Handelsblatt, 20.2.2008, 4) and "In Liechtenstein, fiscal interests 
cannot trump principles of the rule of law." (SZ, 20.2.2008, 4) 


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