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Italian-Swiss talks yield progress in tax row

Italy's Senate has urged its government to sign a revised tax deal with Switzerland to end a spat over Italian assets in Swiss accounts.

The Senate said Italy should sign a deal similar to those recently struck with Britain and Germany, in which Switzerland agreed to tax money British and German citizens kept in Swiss accounts.

Following talks between Swiss and Italian parliamentary officials on Friday, the head of the Senate’s foreign affairs committee, former Prime Minister Lamberto Dini, urged the Italian government to negotiate an agreement immediately.

"The government can't wait any longer," Dini said, adding that a deal could net Rome billions of euros.

Ticino senator Dick Marty was present at the talks and said the “tone of the three hour discussion was completely different to the polemic of the last few months between Bern and Rome”.

Italy has said it is willing to agree to a fiscal deal if Switzerland hands over a list of account holders' names, which Bern has refused to do.  

Switzerland has urged Italy to remove it from a blacklist of tax havens as a condition for a deal, and to give Swiss companies operating in Italy improved fiscal conditions. and agencies

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