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Swiss launch talks with Greece on tax deal

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Photo:Liana Bitoli
21:51 CET+01:00
Switzerland is to begin official negotiations with Greece over a tax accord on undeclared assets hidden in Swiss banks by Greek nationals, the Swiss government said on Wednesday.

An agreement "will permit the regularisation of undeclared Greek assets in Switzerland and the introduction of a final withholding tax with Greece in the future," the Swiss government said in a statement.

Both countries had been in unofficial talks "for some months", the statement continued, adding that Switzerland stood to gain better access for
financial services as a result.

Switzerland has already concluded similar deals -- known as Rubik accords — with several European countries including Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom.

A pact would see Swiss banks applying a fixed tax rate to the hidden assets of Greek clients and then hand the raised funds back to Greece, while still guaranteeing client anonymity.

According to Greek estimates, the country's nationals have 200 billion francs (160 billion euros) hidden in Swiss banks, though Switzerland has disputed the figure.

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The announcement comes after a Greek magazine recently published the names of 2,000 nationals who it said had undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

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