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SBA Chief Condemns EU Over Savings Tax Controversy

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com

06 December 2002


Following the failure of the Ecofin meeting of EU finance ministers to hammer out a deal over the controversial Savings Tax Directive, the head of the Swiss Bankers Association, Urs Roth spoke out on the matter on Wednesday.

'There's a lot of hypocrisy and discrimination flying around on this issue and Switzerland is unfairly in the spotlight,' the SBA chief executive told reporters, continuing:

'We are faced with an arrogant economic bloc that is either hell-bent on smashing the fiscal sovereignty of an independent low tax state or simply seeking a scapegoat on which to hang the blame for its own internal failures.'

Mr Roth advised the EU member states which are most keen to rigidly enforce the terms of the directive to put their own houses in order before pointing the finger at other countries, arguing that although Switzerland is keen to cooperate with the EU on the matter:

'If a country is experiencing massive tax evasion, is this not a symptom that something has gone wrong in the relationship between that state and its citizens?'

Separately, it was reported that Swiss Finance Minister, Kaspar Villiger met with his Danish counterpart, Thor Pederson and EU Taxation Commissioner, Frits Bolkestein on Thursday for further talks.

A comprehensive report on various international initiatives, including the EU's Savings Tax Directive is available in the Tax News Reports Shop at http://www.tax-news.com/reportshop/

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