Tax deal naysayers lose their recount fight

Swiss approval of tax treaties with Austria, Germany and UK upheld BERN, SWITZERLAND – The people behind three popular initiatives to stop new Swiss tax treaties with three other European countries lost their battle 1 November to see the initiatives put to a vote. The Swiss Chancellery, after a review of the delivery dates and […]

Swiss cheese industry boosted by free trade

We’re eating more than 400 grams of cheese a week per person BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss cheese industry benefited in the first five years of free trade with the European Union, a study released 30 October shows. Exports slowed down in 2011 due to the strong Swiss franc, but in the first half of […]

Tax treaty initiative: too-late signatures caused it to fail

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva alone had nearly 1,500 signatures in favour of a public referendum on the tax treaty signed with Germany that didn’t make it to Bern for the deadline. And other late ballots are turning up, says public television RTS. Thursday 27 September at midnight was the deadline for the 50,000 verified signatures […]

Germans, Swiss frank on tax treaty choices

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss officials say if the German parliament does not approve the new tax treaty which is scheduled to go into effect in January 2013 Switzerland will not go back to the negotiating table to draft a new deal. The German parliament will vote 23 November on the deal, initialed in 2011. Swiss […]

Strong franc hurts Swiss hotel industry in July


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss tourism industry, notably the hotel sector, had it worst decline in months due to the strong Swiss franc, figures for July released 5 September show. The number of overnight stays was down 7.2 percent, with stays by foreigners down 8.8 percent to 2.2 million of the 3.8m total. European visitors, […]

Climate Fund Board in Geneva considers bids for host state


Switzerland presenting Geneva’s bid for secretariat seat GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Green Climate Fund is holding its initial board meeting in Geneva 23-25 August. High on the agenda is a decision about the selection process for its secretariat, and presentations from a number of cities seeking to act as permanent host to the fund. Geneva […]

Eurozone contracts, with 0.2% fall in growth

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The eurozone economy slowed down in the second quarter of 2012, new figures from Eurostat Tuesday 14 August show: growth slipped by 0.2 percent, after 0 percent growth the previous quarter. The 17-nation region hovered on the edge of recession despite growth of 0.3 percent of the German economy. The larger 27-countries […]

Zurich and Germany reach agreement on airport noise

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Five years of negotiations between Switzerland and Germany over airport noise appear to have come to an end with the two agreeing on details of a project for a bilateral treaty. Ministers for the two agreed in principle to the treaty in January 2012, at Davos, and five rounds of negotiations since […]

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 president, Italian PM agree to move ahead quickly on tax issues

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti described their talks Tuesday morning 12 June as “open” and “constructive” as they agreed to move ahead on a number of issues, with taxes at the top of the list. The two met in Rome following a 24 May meeting by technical […]