Luxembourg PM says open to talks on bank secrecy clampdown

4th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Proposals would affect Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg in particular because they are the only EU countries that have bank secrecy rules.

BOURGLINSTER - Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said he was open to consider limiting bank secrecy in Europe after the European Commission proposed tougher rules.

"Of course, Luxembourg, which has a particular position on bank secrecy, is ready to discuss" the issue, he told journalists in a news conference with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

"The debate will not be dramatic," he said. "We will participate in this debate as in other debates on taxes where we reached a compromise."

EU Tax Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs proposed on Monday to tighten European rules on bank secrecy for non-residents, opening a new front in the struggle against tax fraud.

In particular, he proposed that bank secrecy could not be invoked as a reason for one member state to refuse sharing tax information with another EU country.

Kovacs' proposals, which would require unanimous backing from EU member staes, would affect Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg in particular because they are the only EU countries that have bank secrecy rules.

AFP/Expatica

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