Lex USA, Act II almost an epilogue
The lower chamber of the Swiss parliament, the Swiss National Council, has rejected the fast-tracked tax deal with the United States by 126 votes to 67.
"Lex USA is practically dead," writes Le Temps, following a decision in the lower chamber of the Swiss parliament, the Swiss National Council, to reject the fast-tracked tax deal with the United States by 126 votes to 67.
The agreement proposed by Bern, and later dubbed the "Lex USA", was designed to enable banks to supply information demanded by American tax authorities without infringing Swiss law. For a columnist in the Swiss daily, the National Council's vote is tantamount to saying -
... ‘no' to a foreign ‘diktat' and the demands of major power convinced of its ascendancy, which will show our neighbours that a state, no matter how small, can resist. In short, it is an indirect message to Brussels, which wants to put an end to the Swiss veto on the exchange of banking information.
On June 19, the text will be once again presented to the Council of States - the upper house of parliament - which had previously endorsed the accord. If the senators rally to the "no" voiced by MPs, the law will be buried. However, if they stand by their vote, the text will be go before a conciliation committee, before a definitve vote on June 21.
Some 15 Swiss banks suspected of accepting undeclared American capital are under investigation by US justice authorities and could face very heavy fines.
Read this article in French.