Luxembourg PM downplays swift tax evasion deal

Luxembourg's PM Juncker dampens hope for deal on fight against tax evasion at next EU summit

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Luxembourg's Prime Minister says he doesn't expect an agreement on one of the European Union's key policies against tax evasion to emerge at next week's summit of the bloc's 27 leaders.

Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday in Berlin it won't be possible to agree on an EU-wide automatic exchange of information on interest gains from bank deposits.

Exchanging such information would expose EU citizens who have stashed money in countries with a reputation for banking secrecy such as Luxembourg or Austria.

The two countries blocked the agreement at a meeting of EU finance ministers Tuesday, thereby referring the issue to next Wednesday's EU summit.

Juncker acknowledged an agreement is inevitable at some point, indicating his country's willingness to go along with the EU proposal.

Austria, however, appears to be more reluctant.

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