Former Swiss MP summoned by Greeks

A former Swiss member of parliament, Josef Zisyadis, has been summoned to appear before a commission of the Greek parliament within the next two weeks.

This content was published on December 5, 2011 - 15:48 and agencies

The commission wants to question Zisyadis, who holds dual Swiss and Greek nationality, about criticisms of Greek slowness in reaching a tax deal with Switzerland which he made on Greek television last month.

“Greek members of parliament, on the left as well as on the right, had too many interests at stake” for the negotiations to make progress, he alleged.

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told Zisyadis in June that Switzerland had been trying to reach an agreement since 2005.

Zisyadis told the Swiss News Agency on Monday that “things had moved fast” since his television appearance. He said the speaker of the Greek parliament had asked all deputies for authority to investigate their personal holdings in Switzerland. He understood that so far deputies were unwilling to give it.

He said he was not sure if he would respond to the summons. He said he was “open to discussion” but was not sure whether such a procedure could be used against a Swiss member of parliament.

Zisyadis, who was born in Istanbul of Greek parents, came to Switzerland as a child. He represented the communist left in the Swiss House of Representatives from 1991 to 1996 and from 1999 to 2011, when he did not stand for reelection.

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