France says would back Swiss removal from OECD tax “grey list”

By Reuters Staff
September 1, 2009

PARIS, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Switzerland has made a major effort in terms of transparency on tax issues and France would support its eventual removal from the OECD’s grey list, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.

Lagarde said she was satisfied with an amendment of a tax agreement signed with Switzerland last week.

Asked whether she would support Switzerland’s removal from the list, she told Reuters: “Given the efforts that they are undertaking at the moment and under the OECD criteria, of course.”

Under pressure frmo the G20, Switzerland agreed in March to relax its prized bank secrecy and share certain client data with other jurisdictions, once bilateral tax treaties were ratified.

The deal with France is the third such agreement in its campaign to be removed from the OECD “grey list” of tax havens which have agreed to improve transparency.

Switzerland must sign 12 such deals to get off the list.

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