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EU nations agree on rules to fight tax evasion after Luxembourg falls in line

European Union nations have agreed on a sweeping policy to fight tax evasion after tiny Luxembourg dropped its reservations to new rules which render its secretive banking culture more transparent.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel confirmed at Thursday's summit of EU leaders "the willingness of the government to take that road," a key step to scrap the banking secrecy for foreigners.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy said the move was "indispensable for enabling the member states to better clamp down on tax fraud and tax evasion."

The legislation proposes an EU-wide automatic exchange of data on bank deposits to allow governments to identify and pursue tax evaders.