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Banks and immigration to top parliament's agenda

The spring session of parliament gets underway

(Keystone)

The financial crisis, banking secrecy and manager salaries are among the main issues to be discussed during parliament’s spring session which begins on Monday.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate will have to decide whether to launch a formal parliamentary investigation – a rare occurrence in Swiss politics – into the government’s handling of the crisis between the UBS bank and the United States authorities.

The Senate is to begin debating a series of amended double taxation agreements following the government’s decision to ease banking secrecy for foreign clients of Swiss banks.

Other highlights of the three-week session are debates about immigration and a proposal submitted by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party to expel foreign criminals.

Parliament is also expected to continue considering a reform of the unemployment insurance scheme, strongly opposed by the centre-left, and to wrap up discussions on spending cuts in the health sector.

The Swiss parliament as a rule meets four times a year for three-week sessions.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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