Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blowback: Swiss Call to Battle U.S.

The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) called on Saturday for retaliation against the United States over a U.S. tax probe into the country's biggest bank UBS that threatens Swtzerland's banking secrecy, reports Reuters.

The SVP said it would call for an urgent debate in parliament on ways to protect Swiss banking secrecy from "further foreign blackmail".

The comments came after UBS agreed on Wednesday to pay a fine of $780 million and to disclose about 250 names of U.S. clients it said had committed tax fraud to settle U.S. criminal charges that it had helped rich Americans dodge taxes.

U.S. tax authorities said on Thursday they were still pursuing a civil case against UBS seeking access to thousands more names of U.S. citizens it says are hiding about $14.8 billion in assets in secret Swiss bank accounts.

The populist SVP, the country's biggest party, said Switzerland should not take in any detainees from the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which the Swiss government said last month it could consider to help shut the camp down.

Switzerland should also reconsider its policy of representing the United States in countries where it has no diplomatic presence, the parliamentary SVP said in a statement.

The SVP said gold stored by the Swiss National Bank in the United States should be repatriated and Switzerland should ban the sale of U.S. funds in the country to protect Swiss investors after the failure of U.S. regulators.

1 comment:

  1. I was listening to this yesterday and it seems that a certain Swiss national has had it in for certain Americans for a while.

    "...both Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Bernanke should be hanged." - Marc Faber [27:44]

    (OK a bit out of context, but not exactly the famous Swiss neutrality)