Austria accuses UK of tax evasion hypocrisy

Austria's Finance Minister Maria Fekter on Friday accused Britain of being a haven for tax evasion and money laundering, Sky News reported.

Austria's Finance Minister Maria Fekter on Friday accused Britain of being a haven for tax evasion and money laundering, Sky News reported.

Fekter made the statement in response to the UK's push for greater transparency among European Union (EU) and G20 nations.

"Great Britain has many money laundering centres and tax havens in its immediate legal remit - the Channel Islands Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands," she said in Dublin at a two-day meeting of Eurozone finance ministers.

"These are all hot spots for tax evasion and money laundering."

She said she would defend Austria's decision to stick to bank secrecy laws on EU depositors despite mounting pressure from the EU.

Austria remains the last EU nation to resist greater exchange of financial data.

"Austria is sticking to bank secrecy," she said.

"We fight tax evasion and money laundering. I don't expect any uncomfortable questions."

RD

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