Austria stands alone on banking secrecy

The Austrian government “will not give one millimetre” on the issue of banking secrecy, reports the daily, “even though the country’s position is increasingly isolated”.

In the wake of reports published in several newspapers that cite evidence of 130,000 tax evaders in 170 countries, Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance has declared that his country will make concessions. Along with Austria, the Grand Duchy was the only one of the EU’s 27 member states to refuse to exchange tax information with other countries.

On April 5, Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter spoke of a “long tradition” of secrecy and “protection against the excessive exchange of information”: two defining aspects of her country’s position which has long been criticized by Germany and the OECD.