Merz sees end in Swiss-EU tax dispute

A dispute between Switzerland and the European Union over low corporate tax rates in cantons should be resolved in 2010, the finance minister has said.

This content was published on November 10, 2009 - 21:54

Hans-Rudolf Merz said the EU continued to have problems with the Swiss system, but he expected the issue should be "brushed under the carpet next year". It had been due to be resolved in the autumn.

Merz made the remarks on the sidelines of the annual summit of finance ministers of the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels on Tuesday. He held informal discussions on various issues including cantons' corporate tax breaks during the event.

Merz noted that Switzerland had made progress in reducing debt incurred under the economic crisis, the focal point of the Brussels summit.

The EU is concerned over foreign-owned holding companies flocking to Switzerland to take advantage of low corporate tax rates. It has stated in the past that tax privileges granted by some Swiss cantons to foreign companies are incompatible with a 1972 free trade agreement between Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

Switzerland has repeatedly refused to negotiate with the EU over the issue. The government says that corporate taxes are a cantonal issue and are not covered by the trade agreement. and agencies

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.