Britain gets good-faith CHF500 million tax advance from Swiss

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland paid the UK half a million francs last week, the Federal Tax Office said Wednesday 30 January, an advance on tax monies that will be collected as part of the bilateral dual taxation agreement that went into effect at the start of the year. The money is a guarantee that the […]

UK, Canada to have joint embassies

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – British and Canadian foreign ministers are expected to sign an agreement Monday 24 September in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, allowing the two countries to share diplomatic missions abroad in an effort to cut costs. British Foreign Minister William Hague and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Braid are scheduled to announce plans to […]

Lausanne to carry fiber optics to homes under new joint agreement

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Lausanne is set to become the first city with a fiber optic network built by Swisscom and a cable company, Lausanne Industrial Services (SiL). The new service will carry fiber optic service directly to homes in the city by 2017, pending approval by the city council and Comco, the Swiss competition commission. […]

Geneva settles down to post-Syria talks Monday blues

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Glum Monday it is in diplomatic Geneva, with rain and gray skies the order of the day and post-partum blues for the weekend Syria conference, which made progress on paper, but without support from the two sides fighting in the conflict that the UN now estimates has killed 10,000 people. Top diplomats […]

Surprise European agreement will give cash to troubled banks

Euro up sharply on the news, stocks rising BASEL / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Reactions are flowing in from the surprise nighttime decision 29 June by European Union leaders to focus on growth,in part by giving money directly to troubled banks in Spain, without increasing government debt, and in part by allowing Italy to use emergency […]

Swiss argument for treating EU-8 differently buried in 2004 agreement

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – Reactions were swift and negative from a number of European Union leaders to Switzerland’s decision to revive quotas for the EU-8 States, announced 18 April. Their objection doesn’t question Switzerland’s right to extend its transition period for handling immigration beyond 2011, but focuses rather on Switzerland’s treatment of the group separately from […]

Austria, Switzerland sign tax agreement like UK, German ones

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland and its neighbour Austria Friday 13 April signed an agreement calling for Swiss banks to withhold tax on income from offshore accounts held by Austrian citizens. The account holders will then have to decide to either forfeit the tax or declare the accounts. The agreement is similar to those signed by […]

Parliament votes for Swiss-US tax treaty amendment

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The lower house of the Swiss parliament Monday 5 March voted strongly in favour of an amended US-Swiss tax treaty, 116-52, thus backing a vote by the upper house in December 2011. Some foreign media coverage of the vote implies that the treaty is designed to help out 11 Swiss banks under […]

Obama’s 7 Internet commandments unveiled

US would like to set in stone Internet privacy laws to live by GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The US government Wednesday 23 February unveiled the seven principles of Internet privacy that it would like to see written into American law, to “protect consumers’ personal data, provide businesses with better guidance . . . and ensure that […]

Zurich airport agreement signed by Germany, Switzerland

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – More morning and evening flights, but fewer flights over southern Germany from Zurich: this is the tradeoff agreed to by Switzerland and Germany, which announced Saturday 28 January they have signed an agreement to reduce noise. The new accord is expected to go into effect in the summer of 2012. Noise reduction […]