(AGI) Rome, Mar 2 - An agreement has been signed by Monaco andItaly to end banking secrecy. The deal to exchange informationon tax is similar to those with Switzerland and Liechtenstein,announced Italy's Ministry of Economy. A protocol on "grouprequests" was also signed. The agreement will boost cooperationbetween the countries and help the fight against transnationaltax evasion. The agreement is based on the OECD Tax InformationExchange Agreement and allows information to be exchanged onrequest. A state cannot refuse a request even if it isirrelevant to its own tax system or banking secrecy. Grouprequests can be made on behaviour that implies taxpayers intendto hide from the Italian tax authorities assets or activitiesheld irregularly in the Principality of Monaco. The agreementon the exchange of information and the protocol will come intoforce after ratification by both parliaments. The Principalityis considered for the purposes of voluntary disclosure a nonblack list country, something that will allow Italian citizenswho illegally hold assets or activities in Monaco access to aregularisation procedure under the most favourable conditionsprovided by law, that is by paying all taxes due and reducedpenalties. A joint policy declaration was signed to confirm thecommitment of each country to apply the automatic exchange ofinformation on the basis of the OECD global standard. Italywill remove the Principality of Monaco from the black list onthe criterion of the exchange of information and on thededuction of costs and expenses. The country will also move tothe white list of countries that exchange information. Theagreement was signed for Italy by Ambassador to thePrincipality of Monaco, Antonio Morabito and for Monaco, byMinister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Gilles Tonelli.The ceremony was attended by Monaco's Minister for Finance andEconomics Jean Castellini and Director of Finance ThierryOrsini and Lieutenant Colonel Pietro Bollettieri for Italy's tax administration.(AGI) . .