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French support for Swiss over tax row

French Prime Minister François Fillon has said that he does not consider Switzerland to be a tax haven.

But Fillon, currently on an official visit to Switzerland, said that the country should work towards more transparency in fiscal matters.

"Switzerland is not a tax paradise. It is not considered as such by the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development and it is not considered as such by France," said Fillon at a joint media conference held with Swiss President Pascal Couchepin.

However, he called on Switzerland to put OECD transparency rules into practice.

Fillon also addressed the issue of banking secrecy, saying that it should not be mixed up with the tax issue and that it should be applied "in a reasonable way".

Fillon's one-day visit was the first by a French Prime Minister since 1991. He also met Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger. Scheduled discussions were on bilateral relations and the European economic situation.


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