Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has criticised Italy for keeping Switzerland on a blacklist of tax havens during a visit to Rome.
In a meeting with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Calmy-Rey expressed “incomprehension” that despite the countries’ strong relations, a continuing tax disagreement was becoming worse.
“The presence of Switzerland on Italian blacklists is unacceptable and harms the economic ties and mutual investments between our two countries,” she told Berlusconi.
She later said there was a common political will for constructive discussions to take place to resolve their financial problems. Such talks needed to begin quickly, she added.
Commercial trade between the countries totaled SFr34 billion ($40 billion) in 2010 and 500,000 Italians currently live in Switzerland, according to the Swiss government.
The bilateral talks also touched on energy issues and Switzerland’s participation in World Expo Milan 2015, as well as the Arab Spring, the current Libyan crisis and migration from North Africa.
On Thursday Calmy-Rey was due to attend celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Italian unification in Rome.
swissinfo.ch and agencies