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EU to start talks with Switzerland next year on tax evasion

The European Union is pressing ahead with its attempt to introduce EU-wide regulations on capital gains. Discussions with Switzerland and other non-EU countries have been set for next year.

The aim is to ensure that the EU regulations are adopted by as many countries as possible, so that EU citizens have no reason to place their savings abroad.

EU finance ministers, meeting in Brussels on Monday, agreed to seek an accord among themselves by the end of November and to start talks with other countries next year.

The decision follows an agreement reached by EU heads of state at their summit in Portugal last month to exchange information on assets held by non-resident EU citizens.

The issue is controversial in Switzerland. The EU’s move has raised the prospect of banking secrecy being lifted, if Swiss banks are required to hand over information about accounts held by EU nationals.

However, the Swiss government and the Swiss Bankers’ Association have made it clear banking secrecy is not up for negotiation.

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