Tax-hungry governments continue to overwhelm Switzerland’s briefly cooperative banking system.
The potential recipient of Merkel’s bribe is Hervé Falciani, a former employee of the Swiss arm of British bank HSBC. The whistleblower already shopped the list to his native France, but presumably found Sarkozy unwilling to pay.
The Swiss Bankers Association feels cornered, understandably, and is threatening political consequences to further regulatory aggression.
Thomas Sutter, the spokesman for the Swiss Bankers Association, cautioned Germany over acquiring “stolen property”. He said he did not believe that the German government “would want to be seen as the recipient of stolen goods” and warned that “if Switzerland was put under pressure”, it could be “counterproductive” for current negotiations between the two countries over a new double taxation treaty.
Schäuble’s spokesman warned that if the government bought the data, it could “severely shake” the relationship between the two countries.