The Greek Finance Minister, Yannis Stournaras and his Swiss counterpart, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met on Tuesday to discuss the issue of taxation of Greek deposits in Swiss banks. However, the two sides didn’t reach an agreement.
The Greek Finance Minister requested an arrangement similar to that signed between Switzerland and Britain in 2011, which imposed a one-off levy on secret account holders to settle their tax obligations. “Greece’s bad financial situation was reversed thanks to citizens’ great efforts and sacrifices,” he said during their meeting, noting that Greeks with untaxed capital in Swiss banks should contribute to the country’s rescue.
“Models we had earlier considered and discussed to prevent untaxed money in Swiss banks are partly outdated,” said the Swiss Finance Minister, stating that the “British model” can’t be applied to Greece. She proposed an automatic information exchange between tax authorities at an international level.
Switzerland is a a well-known tax haven. It is estimated that Greek deposits in Swiss banks amount to 60 billion euros while German deposits reach the 200 billion mark.