Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Homeeurope newsGreece faces stalemate on deal on secret Swiss accounts

Greece faces stalemate on deal on secret Swiss accounts

Switzerland agreed to share information on Greek accounts held in Swiss banks on Tuesday, but declined to compensate Greece for tax income lost in the past from undisclosed accounts.

The two countries remained divided on how to solve the problem of untaxed Greek money held in secret Swiss accounts, even after Tuesday's meeting between Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and her Greek counterpart Yannis Stournaras in Athens.

(Read more: Greece's third aid program may be on its way)

Greece's Finance Minister Yannis StournarasKostas Tsironis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Greece wants to levy taxes on Greeks' holdings in Swiss banks, and wants the Swiss government to pay a deposit towards these taxes. The Greek government also wants Switzerland to pay a deposit towards taxes Greece did not receive in the past.

Widmer-Schlumpf said Greece's request to receive taxes for past funds was outdated – despite Switzerland having struck an arrangement to that effect with the U.K.

"We should be moving towards a different direction," Widmer-Schlumpf said. However, Stournaras insisted: "We would like to have a similar model to the British one."

(Read more: Greece's bailout exit is on track: PM)

Negotiations between Greece and Switzerland have been ongoing since September 2012, as Greece attempts to clamp down on endemic tax evasion and Switzerland tries to shake off its reputation as a tax haven.

"The main axes of what the Greek government is asking for is a down-payment on future taxes, on the interest that will be applied on Greek savings in Swiss banks, and a retroactive payment for taxes the Greek government didn't receive in the past," Greek Finance Ministry sources told CNBC prior to the latest meeting.

The deal proposed by the Greek government would see its tax revenue from Swiss bank accounts rise by four-to-six billion euros ($5.4-$8.1 billion), according to reports in the Greek media.


Most Popular