"The sparrow in the hand is better than the dove on the roof" wasn't the SocialDems' and Eco-Greens cup of tea when they rejected the ConLib coalition government's agreement with the Swiss about transfer of about 10 billion euros ($13 bn) lump sump compensation plus 700 million euros ($916 mn) annual withholding payments from "black" bank-accounts of German "tax-cheaters" in Switzerland.
There was no compromise possible by the mediation committee in the ratification process of a law to the bilateral treaty that requires approval by both chambers of German parliament. The "red-gree(n)d" majority in the upper house, the "Bundesrat", was not inclined to accept the Swiss-German tax deal. With their intransigence, the German treasury will not be able to reap in the windfall of "generalized capital gains taxes" from German "hush-hush" money on Swiss banks.
The catch for the social dreamers of SPD/Eco-Greens, who obviously can't get enough by their greed, was that the money should flow into treasury's coffers by anonymously keeping the names of the German account-holders who have allegedly cheated the German IRS by expatriating their assets to Switzerland and not declaring the foreign interest income in respective tax-returns for years.
What do they want instead of getting "the sparrow in the hand"? They reach for the "dove on the roof" by purchasing "tax-dvds" from illoyal Swiss bank employees who steal the data from their employers in order to sell the stuff to some German state governments, for example North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) that is governed by a red-green coalition.
At the moment, the purchases of illegally copied Swiss tax data, btw, deemed as economic espionage by the Swiss government and jurisdiction, by NRW seem to pay off. The state treasury in connection with the main prosecutor in Bochum (NRW) try to get 100 euros back taxes and fines for every euro spent.
OK, but this legal reasoning can be a long-term and tough enterprise for the federal states to pursue. Tax trials may last years, and the treasury may end up empty-handed because of possible insolvency of the accused.
It's really naive thinking and an elevated degree of hyprocrisy that the current government hasn't acted in good faith and interest of the people.
Hoping for a better deal in a re-negotiated Swiss-German tax treaty is, in my opinion, wishful thinking of the red-green opposition in the lower chamber of German parliament, the "Bundestag".
Will the now-frontrunner for becoming Germany's next chancellor, Peer Steinbrueck (SPD), start bullying the Swiss government anew?
When having been finance minister during the grand-coalition of Merkel I (CDU/CSU & SPD) he was trying to ostracize Switzerland as off-shore tax-haven and comparing it with a third-world country in Africa because of Swiss bank secrecy laws, thus pissing-off the Swiss government and population who regarded him as 'wanted state enemy'.
Well, the Swiss government is deeply disappointed that the tax-deal is now nil and void.
Wishful thinking do-gooders won't necessarily get the desired result, sometimes it's probably better to get a good result that can quickly be factored in current budgets.
Unfortunately, the high standard of red-green mediocrity, stubbornness, intransigence and hyprocrisy has prevailed.