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Workers Swiss remind Italy over cross-border tax deal

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, as seen in parliament in March
(© Keystone / Peter Schneider)

Foreign minister Ignazio Cassis, in Italy for a conference, has once again stressed that Switzerland is still waiting for an Italian decision on an agreement to tax cross-border workers.

Cassis was in Genoa on Friday to open the Switzerland-Italy Dialogue Forum, which is aimed at strengthening “mutual understanding and cooperation” between the two countries.

On the sidelines, he held talks with the Italian minister for regional affairs and autonomies, Erika Stefani, to discuss the crossborder tax issue.

This follows on from a meeting with Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, this time in Lugano, Switzerland, in January. At this time, it was understood that Italy would clarify its position in spring.

+ Read more about what was discussed in January here

Mr Cassis reiterated that Switzerland is awaiting Italy's decision regarding the agreement on the taxation of frontier workers, which was initiated in 2015,” a Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) statement said on Fridayexternal link.

The Swiss minister said that the long wait was jeopardizing confidence in the authorities, according to the text of his speech, which was made to an audience over 150 people. He called on all those involved to help move the dossier forward.


Around 70,000 Italians cross over the Swiss border to work in Italian-speaking Ticino. In 2017 the canton lifted the requirementexternal link for Italian nationals to provide a copy of their police record to get a work or residence permit.

The rule had been imposed in 2015 to help reduce the number of cross-border workers (frontalieri), following concerns that conditions, such as pay, were worsening for Swiss workers.

Lifting the requirement had been considered the last obstacle to concluding the tax agreement, the Ticino authorities said at the time. But there has been no movement on the issue since then.

In 2016 voters in the canton approved a proposal to give its residents priority on the labour market over workers from Italy.


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