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Rightwing challenge of tax accords fails

Attempts to force a nationwide vote against new double taxation agreements with the United States and France appear to have failed.

This content was published on July 23, 2010 - 11:29

The far-right Lega dei Ticinesi group said it had given up collecting the necessary signatures for a referendum.

The group said it was disappointed that neither banks nor other financial institutions outside the Ticino region had given their support.

The move comes in the wake of similar announcements by the Swiss People’s Party and the Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland.

Parliament approved ten new accords on double taxation in June. Under the agreements Switzerland is easing banking secrecy rules and grants legal assistance in suspected cases of tax evasion, not only over tax fraud.

An initiative to enshrine banking secrecy in the Swiss constitution, launched by the youth wing of the People’s Party, is also running into difficulty. Promoters said they were more than 30,000 signatures short ahead of a deadline at the beginning of October.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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