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Row with EU Swiss poised to retaliate against EU stock market access

Screens showing indexes at the Euronext headquarters

The tit-for-tat strategies between Switzerland and the EU appear to take their course over access to each other's stock exchanges and a framework agreement.

(Keystone/Kamil Zihnioglu)

The Swiss finance ministry has reaffirmed that it is ready to ban stock exchanges in the European Union from trading Swiss shares – in a worsening row with Brussels over the future of bilateral relations.

“In the event of stock market equivalence not being extended, the finance ministry will activate this protective measure. [….] Consequently, trading venues in the EU would lose recognition,” the ministry said on Monday.

“Trading venues in the EU would thus be prohibited from offering or facilitating trading in certain shares of Swiss companies from that date,” the statementexternal link added.

The move comes amid increasing signs that Brussels has lost patience with Switzerland and is not willing to extend an accord on stock market equivalence at the end of month. 

The EU has criticised the Swiss government’s reluctance to push ahead with a long-discussed so-called framework agreement regulating the more than 120 bilateral accords.

‘Clarifications’

For its part, the Swiss government earlier this month announced it needed “clarifications” from Brussels notably on salary issues, state subsidies and unemployment benefits for EU labour before agreeing the draft agreement.

Parliament supported the government policy over the past three-week summer session and demanded the government seek additional negotiations with the EU.

The government argues that the current draft treaty is unlikely to be accepted by parliament and would not stand a chance of being accepted by voters in a likely nationwide vote.

Political parties on the right and the left as well as trade unions have made strong reservations, while the business community has come out in favour.

Swiss-EU relations  Brussels sees ‘lack of progress’ in Swiss-EU talks

The European Commission has noted a “lack of progress” in talks with Switzerland over a new institutional framework deal.

This content was published on June 18, 2019 3:20 PM

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