Cartoons

Germany: Own goal!

26 April 2013
Cicero Berlin

Own goal! – Heiko Sakurai

On the wall: Grüezi Bank, Zurich. Private accounts

Uli Hoeneß:

I didn’t do it for myself. I was saving up so FC Bayern could afford Messi one day.

Uli Hoeness, the president of Bayern Munich, has confessed to the German tax authorities that he has an account in Switzerland, estimated to hold around EUR 10 million.

Exposed earlier this week, the case has taken a political twist. In 2012, it turns out, the German government tried to negotiate an agreement with Switzerland that would have ensured anonymity for tax evaders, on condition that the Swiss banks pay the German tax authorities. But the Bundestag rejected that agreement. Since then several regions have purchased CD-ROMs containing the names of offenders.

To avoid being “discovered”, Hoeness came clean. Nonetheless, this popular personality in Germany has become the symbol of the Angela Merkel government's alleged laxity in the fight against tax fraud. The revelations have emerged in a week when Hoeness’s club created a sensation by drubbing Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona  4-0 in the Champions League.