Calmy-Rey promises grey list action

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has repeated Swiss commitment to act on banking secrecy, following the G20 meeting of the world's most influential countries.

This content was published on April 4, 2009

In an interview with Saturday's Le Temps newspaper, Calmy-Rey said Switzerland was a "serious country that did what it said".

"We have nothing to gain by dragging our feet – what interests us is obtaining the same set of conditions for all financial centres," she said. "Switzerland's willingness to act is sincere."

Last month, Switzerland – along with other countries – agreed to conform to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standards of tax cooperation in an attempt to escape being put on an international tax black list. Swiss officials will renegotiate tax treaties to provide information on suspected tax cheats who are hiding their cash in Swiss banks.

At the G20 meeting in London on Friday Switzerland joined more than 30 other countries on an OECD "grey list" which "have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented [the standard]".

On Friday Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin told Swiss radio he regretted that the OECD "had become a ratings agency", adding that the organisation should be more of a think tank for coming up with ways out of the crisis.

swissinfo with agencies

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