German upper house of parliament rejects Swiss tax deal

BERLIN Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:27am EST

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BERLIN Nov 23 (Reuters) - Germany's upper house of parliament on Friday rejected a deal with Switzerland to tax assets stashed by German citizens in Swiss bank accounts.

Despite a last ditch appeal to the assembly by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble the agreement was rejected by lawmakers in states run by the opposition Greens and Social Democrats, who said it lets off tax evaders too easily.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right government no longer has a majority in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament.

The tax deal could still be salvaged in a mediation procedure that seeks to resolve differences between the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, and the Bundesrat, but the chances of that happening are slim.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson)

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