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Today’s Top Headlines

France To Sign Bilateral Tax Agreement With Switzerland

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

10 December 2008

During recent discussions with Swiss President Pascal Couchepin, French Prime Minister François Fillon revealed firm plans to conclude a bilateral tax agreement between Switzerland and France, demonstrating his commitment to strengthening ties between the two countries.

Marking a significant turning point in fiscal policy, the French Prime Minister unveiled plans, not only to sign a bilateral tax agreement with Switzerland, but also to implement – on a bilateral basis – the anti-fraud agreement established between Switzerland and the European Union, even though this agreement has not yet been fully ratified by all member states.

Demonstrating a marked softening of attitude, Fillon emphasised his determination to forge ahead and foster closer trade and economic relations between the two countries, despite acknowledging remaining differences in fiscal policy. Indeed, in a bid to overcome these differences, both sides have resolved to establish a working party, designed to evaluate individual policies, and propose a way forward.

Keen to clarify that France does not regard its neighbour as a ‘tax haven,’ Fillon did, however, express his hope to persuade Switzerland to comply with key regulations drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in terms of fiscal exchange of information, and reaffirmed France’s determination to take resolute action against any areas deemed insufficiently regulated or transparent.

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