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Finance minister discusses euro crisis in Paris

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has met her French counterpart, François Baroin, for a working meeting in Paris.

Widmer-Schlumpf told Baroin she had been “surprised” when French President Nicolas Sarkozy had included Switzerland in a list of tax haven countries that should be “excluded” from the international community.

Sarkozy made the remarks at the closing of the G20 summit in Cannes last month, prompting the Swiss government to summon the French ambassador to Bern to express its displeasure.

In a statement on Thursday, the finance ministry said Widmer-Schlumpf and Baroin had discussed the application of the current double taxation agreement between the two countries.

The ministry said Widmer-Schlumpf had underlined the willingness of Switzerland “to collaborate with France in the context of negotiated agreements, as well as the significant efforts made by Switzerland to apply the standards of the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development]”.

The two finance ministers also discussed the crisis afflicting the euro zone and Swiss contributions to the International Monetary Fund in aid of affected countries.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR