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Germany Parliament's upper house blocks agreement with Switzerland to fight tax evasion

The Swiss national flag on top of Switzerland's embassy waves in the wind next to a German flag at the Reichstag building which host German Parliament in Berlin, Monday, April 2, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Markus Schreiber

BERLIN - Opposition parties in Germany's upper house of Parliament have blocked a new agreement with Switzerland aimed at ending a long-running dispute over German tax cheats who hide their money in Swiss banks.

The Social Democrats and Greens said Friday the deal wasn't tough enough on tax evaders.

The deal, which was to have gone into force Jan. 1, was to have allowed Germans with undeclared assets in neighbouring Switzerland to escape punishment by making a one-time payment of between 21 and 41 per cent of the value of their Swiss-held assets. German authorities were also to be given more powers to seek information on German nationals' accounts in Switzerland.

It was not immediately clear whether the Christian Democrat-led government would try and renegotiate the treaty.


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