Swiss welcome 'positive sign' from EU

23rd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The EU removes Switzerland from tax haven blacklist.

GENEVA - The Swiss government on Friday welcomed as a 'positive sign' a European Union statement that Switzerland is no longer on an EU blacklist of tax havens.

The finance ministry said it "noted with satisfaction the declarations of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek," whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Topolanek said at an EU Summit late Thursday that Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg are no longer on a blacklist of tax havens as they conformed to standards set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"We have talked about that. There are countries, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, a non-EU member, who have accepted the conditions of the OECD and therefore they won't be on the list anymore," he told a press conference in Brussels.

In a statement, the Swiss finance ministry said it "notes that the EU envisages an approach of cooperation with Switzerland" in the tax domain.

"The engagement made by the (Swiss) Federal Council to conform to OECD standards in the areas of administrative assistance in tax matters has been taken into account by the EU," it said, adding that this was a "positive sign."

Switzerland along with several other countries and territories earlier in March said it would relax its bank secrecy laws amid growing international pressure to end tax havens.

AFP / Expatica

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