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Swiss hope to solve tax row with US this year

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf says she hopes to resolve disagreements with the United States over tax cooperation by the end of this year.

At a news conference in Washington on Saturday following talks with the US finance and justice ministers, Timothy Geithner and Eric Holder, Widmer-Schlumpf said negotiations were back on track.

Widmer-Schlumpf said differences remained but the US government had given no indication that it intended to escalate the situation.

She added that the Swiss banks accused of helping clients dodge taxes would have to make a one-off payment, similar to the UBS bank in 2009.

Washington wants information from 11 Swiss banks on assets held by US citizens in its drive to crack down on tax dodgers.

In the negotiations underway since 2010, the Swiss government seeks a global solution for all 320 Swiss banks to end a legal battle with the US over undeclared bank accounts.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR