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Swiss refuse to hand over bank data to US

Switzerland will not hand over private bank data to the United States, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has said, after rumours of an ultimatum from Washington.

Any potential exchange can only take place within the legal framework of the double taxation agreement between the two countries, she said in Bern on Wednesday.

Calmy-Rey, who also holds the rotating post as Swiss president this year, said she wanted to put an end to speculation concerning the possible handover of names of American tax evaders with accounts at Credit Suisse in particular.

“There were only discussions on statistical questions,” Calmy-Rey told a media conference in the Swiss capital where she announced her retirement from politics. The data did not come under the banking secrecy rules, she added.

Earlier Swiss media reports claimed that Switzerland had provided the US with an estimate of the total value of funds held by American citizens in Swiss accounts. The figure was said to be in the range of $20 billion to$30 billion. and agencies

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