This just out in the Tribune of Geneva newspaper about pressure EU countries are putting upon Swiss bank secrecy. Swiss People’s Party (Central Democratic Union) deputy Yves Nidegger, like the majority of his party, is opposed to all cooperation in taxation matters:
La Suisse a été trop naïve jusqu’à aujourd’hui
Quick translation by me:
Switzerland has been too naive up to now.
Switzerland is in the process of losing everything because it has capitulated to pressure, thinks Geneva UDC politician Yves Nidegger. He calls for a nationwide burst of action.
Switzerland is not fighting enough against foreign pressure about taxation matters, says the National Counselor Yves Nidegger (UDC). To support his position the Genevan brandishes extracts from a French Senate commission report. The report speaks of “making Switzerland crack”, and refers to Switzerland as a country where the political class is “relatively fragile”.
Yves Nidegger is opposed, with the majority of his party, to any cooperation in taxation matters. He is also opposed to the automatic exchange of information that the EU is demanding as well as to arrangements such as Rubik which Germany refused this week.
The Tribune of Geneva asked Yves Nidegger: “what shocks you in this [French Senate] report?”
Nidegger: the most shocking is the admitted objective of the French to attack us in order to get to other EU member countries such as Luxembourg and Austria. This shows that the public, the political class, and the media are not going far enough in their analysis: they continue to believe that the moral crusade for honest taxation is the real motivation for what has come upon us. Parliamentary work shows that Switzerland has been very naïve up to now. It has continuously blamed itself and responded to foreign attacks without an offensive strategy. As to the remark about the fragility of the Swiss political class, this is true, we already know, thank you.
TdG asks: “According to you should Switzerland put up more of a fight?”
Nidegger: Of course so. We are in an economic war, but we are not engaging in combat. The price of capitulation will be very high. It is late, but if Switzerland wants to overcome this, it will require a diplomatic, economic and political offensive against the EU. We should not forget that Switzerland is capable of guaranteeing the debt of Greece. It is 4 times that of the Canton of Geneva. If it were to happen, Greece would be Triple-A rated. We could take a load off of Europe and demand some respect in exchange…
If Switzerland wants to survive tomorrow it must first reconcile with itself. But if it continues to act as a teenager angry about his heritage, it will lose. We need to heal our spirit. That is why I am engaged in a political party.
Counterpoint from socialist deputy Jean-Christophe Schwaab:
L’UDC est responsable de la fragilité de la Suisse
Contrarily, nothing shocking for the National Counselor (Deputy) Jean Christophe Schwaab (Socialist Party). According to him, the interpretation made by the nationalist-right deputy is erroneous. Explanations.
Tribune of Geneva: Jean Christophe Schwaab, why do these excerpts from the report not shock you?
Jean Christophe Schwaab: When one defends something that is indefensible, such as the protection of tax evaders, one should not be surprised to make enemies in other democracies. Especially when one makes a national myth about it. To have a business model which consists of protecting and encouraging tax evasion can only weaken us and put us in a situation where our neighbors take note of our weaknesses.
What creates Switzerland’s fragility is precisely those who clutch with beaks and claws to that which causes our troubles; it is the Swiss People’s Party (UDC). The party creates fragility in Switzerland because it holds on to banking secrecy, which is in the process of disappearing, whatever one does.
Tribune of Geneva: Is it not shocking to want to “make Switzerland crack” under pretext to attack other countries who are EU members?
JCS: No, nothing surprising there either. As we are not in the EU, these targets are not really our business… But the crux of the affair is that if we were virtuous and if we combatted tax evasion with other countries, nobody would cause the problems that we are experiencing now. In that case, one would attack straightaway the anglo-normand islands [he is probably referring to Jersey and Gurnsey], Luxembourg, and possibly Delaware.
It does not surprise me that the French chose the most efficient strategy to combat tax evasion. We can only blame ourselves.
What really upsets me about the socialist’s response is that he does not mention our sovereignty. With people who take such as an approach as his and the general outcry against so called tax evaders, I am afraid that no distinction will be made for residents of Switzerland that pay taxes in Switzerland but are unable to comply with, or chose not to comply with imperalistic US double taxation and reporting policies.
But thank you, Deputy Schwaab, for mentionning Delaware.