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Switzerland hits back over tax haven claims

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Switzerland hits back over tax haven claims

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Switzerland does not belong on a tax haven blacklist and is working to convince the international community of its determination to open up its bank secrecy laws.

That is according to Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was in Paris as part of a campaign to persuade the G20 not to target her country in a crackdown when it meets next month: “We were surprised, not to say angry, to see Switzerland’s name on the OECD list, drawn up in consultation with a few select states even though we are a member country. Let me reiterate that we do not belong on this list of tax havens. We are not a non-cooperative state.” The tax issue has led to fierce criticism of Switzerland by other governments, who are cash-strapped due to the economic crisis. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck has been particularly outspoken, souring relations to the extent that a Swiss deputy labelled him a Nazi in a parliamentary debate this week.