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Vienna, 13 June 2012 We are stronger as a team - FMF and FMI assessment positive Joint efforts are increasing impact and inspection pressure

"The collaboration between the FMF and the FMI is a success story", Austrian Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter and Interior Minister Ms Johanna Mikl-Leitner stated at a press conference on 13 June 2012.

"Particularly in periods of consolidation when we are all called upon to make sacrifices, our objective is to effectively and intensively exploit our synergies", both ministers concurred. The collaboration between the executive and the anti-fraud units of the Tax and Customs Administration is already essentially automatic, but the plan is to for these government departments to become even more integrated in future. "Behind almost every criminal structure there lurks a financial deficit", Finance Minister Fekter said, as she emphasised the need for cross-departmental collaboration. In addition to joint training and continuing education schemes for staff, cross-departmental collaboration between the FMF and the FMI especially includes their joint fight against organised crime, with coordinated deployments of special commandos and targeted campaigns.

There is no arguing with their success. "For example, the tax investigation team, which works closely in tandem with the Federal Criminal Police Office, was able to recover additional revenues of 91 million", Dr. Fekter reported. In addition to this, the joint projects undertaken by the FMF and FMI include campaigns against illegal games of chance, money-laundering, corruption and the fight against illegal immigration rings and increased controls on fuel consumption tax compliance. "Using x-ray technology enables us to gain a laser-like view of reality", Mikl-Leitner noted approvingly regarding the use of the FMF's scanning and x-ray vehicles. In particular, the two ministers underscored the excellent work achieved by the financial police, a body established in January 2011: "The creation of the financial police was an important step in the direction of achieving greater public confidence and fairness", the Finance Minister explained. "Austria cannot be permitted to become a playground for criminals", both Dr Fekter and Ms Mikl-Leitner agreed.

"The general preventive impacts of our units are already showing good results. The wheels are meshing smoothly. Targeted anti-fraud action is of central concern to both of us, because in this way we are able to eradicate competitive distortions and prevent harm to the economy and to the individual taxpayer. Our active cooperation is bringing about greater fairness, greater equality of opportunity and greater levels of protection for Austrian citizens", Dr. Fekter stated in closing.