One of Germany’s leading feminists, Alice Schwarzer, has admitted that she held a Swiss bank account since the 1980s. The confession followed a report in Spiegel, which Schwarzer called “character assassination.”
Alice Schwarzer — leading German feminist, writer and publisher of the German political women’s magazine EMMA, and campaigner for the “Swedish” or “Nordic Model” of sex work policy — accused news magazine Spiegel on Sunday of trying to damage her reputation by reporting on her recent payment – “a six-figure sum” – in back taxes to the German tax revenue office. The Spiegel article had been published earlier in the day.
In an online statement on her website, the prominent German feminist admitted to disclosing her Swiss bank account to German tax authorities this year and subsequently paying 200,000 euros ($270,000) plus default interest. She said she had opened the account in the 1980s and had wired taxed earnings to it over the years without paying taxes on the accumulated interest.
“The [Swiss bank] account was a mistake,” Schwarzer said. “Everything is legal now. I’m not one of the thousands with unreported earnings [hidden away] in a Switzerland.”
‘I made a mistake’
“Yes, I made a mistake, I was negligent…[but] my taxes have been paid,” Schwarzer said in her statement, with the title “On private matters,” on her website. Given the status of her taxes, Schwarzer said she now had “the right to privacy and secrecy in tax matters.”
The well-known German feminist said she had opened the account at a time when she felt the public uproar over her feminist views was so strong that she had begun considering leaving the country. A foreign account with secure money was there for her “peace of mind.”