Zurich: Switzerland faces a crunch vote
on Tuesday when lawmakers are due to decide whether to endorse
a tax evasion deal with the United States implicating banking
giant UBS, a spokeswoman said today.
The lawmakers of the lower chamber of parliament, who
voted against the deal this week, is expected to begin their
debate on "Tuesday at 8 am (local time)," said the
Switzerland, the United States and UBS agreed in
August 2009 that the bank would identify 4,450 US clients
suspected of tax evasion, after US authorities filed lawsuits
to force the bank to hand over information.
The deal needed to be endorsed by both houses of the
Federal Assembly after a Swiss supreme court ruling in January
called its legal basis in Switzerland into question.
The lower house had rejected the document in a first
vote this week, while the senate had already endorsed the
accord twice. Tuesday`s decision by the lower chamber would
mark the final step on the issue.
However, even if the accord is endorsed by parliament,
Swiss citizens can still push for a nationwide referendum if
50,000 signatures in favour of such a vote can be collected
within 100 days.
In a note to clients, Bank Helvea said that UBS chief
financial officer John Cryan told around 30 analysts in London
that he expected the accord to be passed by parliament.
"It was reassuring to hear his optimism about the
US/UBS cross border case, if not unexpected," said Peter
Thorne, Bank Helvea`s analyst.