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  1. Wealth
May 7, 2009

German finance minister insults neighbours

By Spear's

Luxembourg MPs unanimously backed a resolution on protesting over attacks on banking secrecy by German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, which they said hurt relations between the two countries.

Luxembourg MPs unanimously backed a resolution on protesting over attacks on banking secrecy by German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, which they said hurt relations between the two countries.

The outspoken Steinbrueck made a new jibe against Luxembourg and other European finance centres, likening them to the poor African nation of Burkina Faso, in a continuing tax haven row.

Steinbrueck told journalists in Brussels that he regretted that Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Austria had not bothered to attend an international conference on tax havens in Paris last October.

“Of course, I am going to invite them for a follow-up conference in June in Berlin,” he said, adding ironically: “Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Austria and Ouagadougou,” the capital of Burkina Faso.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told German magazine Der Spiegel’s online edition that Steinbrueck had plumbed new depths with the comment, which he said showed an “arrogance that is difficult to surpass.”

For further details, visit thewealthnet

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