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Swiss Ambassador Hits Back At FT Report

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

21 December 2001


The Swiss Ambassador to London, Bruno Spinner, has hit back at a 13th December Financial Times report which he claims presented a misleading impression of the Swiss attitude towards money laundering and Dawn Primarolo's recent speech to the Swiss-UK Chamber of Commerce.

'Your report...conveyed information and perceptions that reflected neither the UK Paymaster-General's speech of a day earlier in Zurich, nor the efforts of Switzerland in the fight against tax evasion and money laundering,' he complained.

He pointed out that Switzerland grants full judicial cooperation in the fight against tax fraud, and argued that the withholding tax suggested by the countries opposed to information sharing on non-resident savings interest on an EU-wide basis is a 'technically simple, efficient, and secure' alternative method of tax collection.

In conclusion he observed that: 'It was indeed valuable to have the UK minister in Switzerland. Dialogue should always prevail over diktat, especially between states that share so many liberal values.'


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