Mercury treaty: holding our breath as more damage shown

600px-MercuryFoodChain-01

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Unep (UN Environmental Protection agency) negotiations to establish a mercury convention ended in Geneva Wednesday evening 16 January with more of a whisper than a bang, in terms of world press coverage. Mercury has been an issue for so long, since the Japanese discovered in 1956 that it caused Minamata disease, that […]

Swiss say new US demands slowing down tax deal

Credit Suisse asked by US Dept. of Justice for new data on old clients ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – A deal to settle investigations of some Swiss banks by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) may not be found before November and the US presidential election, as earlier suggested, the ambassador leading the talks for Switzerland suggested […]

Germans, Swiss settle tax differences, but spy warrants add twist

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND  – The dust was starting to settle over the tax deal between Switzerland and Germany Friday 30 March when a new whirlwind was kicked up with the Swiss asking for German assistance in charges brought against three German tax inspectors. The Swiss Federal Tax Office announced late Friday that the German government had […]

German-Swiss air space negotiations look to summer deal

Zurich Airport and airline Swiss will be part of the team that looks at Zurich flight issues BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss-German negotiations over southern Germany’s airspace are ready to take off, Switzerland said Wednesday, 15 February, announcing its team. Peter Mueller, who heads the federal civil aviation office, will lead Swiss negotiations for a bilateral […]

If you read the NY Times on Swiss banks take a minute to read what the Swiss say

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Apologies for the confusion; I accidentally posted this briefly on the news page and it has now been moved to its correct home, on the editorial page. You’ll find it here.

If you read what the NY Times says about Swiss banks, take time to read what the Swiss say (update)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – This is an appeal to intelligent readers, and I know there are many out there, to at least reflect on the other side of the story if you’ve read the New York Times editorial published Friday 10 February on US pressure on Swiss banks. It’s a remarkably trite piece of writing, with […]

Data and privacy issues are growing focus in US-Swiss talks: taxes, visas, banking

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Data privacy concern is increasingly raising its head in US-Swiss talks over taxes, visas and banking. The latest incident is linked to Switzerland’s decision to continue participating in the US visa waiver programme. Parliament will have its say in US data demands for visa waiver programme The Swiss Federal Council Wednesday 1 […]

Novartis’s Prangins site to remain open

NYON, SWITZERLAND – Novartis will not close its Prangin site and all jobs there will be saved, the company will be investing more money in the plant, canton Vaud will give the company a tax break and some of the unused space will be developed into housing. Tough talks between Novartis workers and managers, the […]

Swiss, Chinese free trade: “good progress” made

shangrila_farms_china

BERN, SWITZERLAND – “Switzerland’s free trade agreement negotiations with China are in a rather early stage but they are well underway” following the third round of talks between the two countries, Swiss Ambassador and Delegate for Trade Agreements Christian Etter has told GenevaLunch. Switzerland, which has a trade surplus with China despite the former’s small size, […]

Swiss president: single agreement with US should cover past, future

micheline_calmy_rey2_281111sm

Swiss president says concern over legality of UK, German deals is EC’s “internal” problem GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is looking for an agreement with the US that will draw a line on the past, where banks and US tax fraud or evasion is concerned, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said Monday 28 November. It should include […]