Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf turned down the proposal of her Greek counterpart Yiannis Stournaras to impose taxes on Greeks’ bank accounts and transfer the money to Athens.
Currently in the Greek capital, Widmer-Schlumpf told Stournaras that Switzerland does not do such deals any more, focusing instead on automatic information exchange between tax authorities, currently negotiated at international level.
“Models we had earlier considered and discussed to prevent untaxed money in Swiss banks are partly outdated,” Widmer-Schlumpf said.
The total amount of Greek deposits in Swiss banks is not clear, some scenarios speak even of 60 billion euro. It’s not a secret that the debt-ridden country would love to extend a long arm and grab a percentage even if the money has been already taxed. Even if the Greeks let the famous Lagarde-List with the names of more than 2,000 Greeks with deposits in HSBC Geneva-branch, get dusty in a locked drawer for some years.
But there is doubt that Switzerland would give up its holly ‘bank confidentiality’ just for the sake of the needy Greeks.
PS the bird has flown away…