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Ouagadougou Is Annoyed, Too: 'We Were Shocked' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück has outraged more than just his European neighbors in the past week -- he also angered Africans by comparing Burkina Faso to tax havens like Switzerland and Luxembourg. Now, Burkina Faso's ambassador to Germany, Xavier Niodogo, says he'd like to invite Steinbrück for a visit to Ouagadougou.

SPIEGEL: German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück cited Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in the same breath as Luxembourg and Switzerland. You have criticized the statement. Is there a diplomatic crisis between Germany and Burkina Faso?

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Burkina Faso's ambassador to Germany, 55-year-old Xavier Niodogo, in Berlin. Xavier Niodogo: We were very surprised and also shocked that our country was compared to alleged tax havens. Burkina Faso has nothing to do with that. We have very clear tax rules and our banking system is strictly monitored. In this regard, we are considered a model internationally.

SPIEGEL: What have you done?

Niodogo: My government has sent an official protest note to the German Foreign Ministry, in which we demanded an explanation for the comparison.

by Fran on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 02:23:33 PM EST
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