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Germany News in Brief - November 6, 2014

States sign anti tax evasion bill

BERLIN. More than 80 countries signed an agreement in Berlin on October 29 that could end banking secrecy in the global battle against tax evasion and fraud.

Among the signatories were EU countries but also previously staunch proponents of banking secrecy such as Liechtenstein and tax havens like the Cayman Islands.

The deal – known as the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement – crowned two days of talks by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

Fifty-one countries signed one agreement to put in place an automatic exchange of information between the participating countries beginning in September 2017.

The agreement designates the national authority in each country which will be responsible for collating the data and transferring it to the other countries.

The aim is for every country to be kept fully informed about the offshore holdings of its citizens.

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Concentration camp gate stolen

Dachau gatePolice in Bavaria are investigating their first leads for the theft of the infamous ‘Arbeit macht frei’ iron gate from the Dachau concentration camp which was stolen on Sunday.

Dachau police chief Thomas Rauscher said that his men were following up a possible neo-Nazi motive for the crime, but could not provide any concrete information on Monday about the perpetrators.

The thieves apparently timed their intrusion between the rounds of the security guards watching the former camp, which has no surveillance system.

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Refugee group steals Berlin Wall crosses

CrossesMemorial crosses in Berlin which honour those who died while trying to cross the Wall have been removed by a refugee rights group – and erected in Africa.

The seven white crosses, on the bank of the Spree river by the parliament building, the Reichstag, were removed by activists and taken to the EU-African border at the Spanish enclave of Melilla to signify the “new walls” in Europe.

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