Swiss-Greek Talks on Deepening Cooperation on Taxation

Press releases, 28.04.2015

On April 28, 2015 Swiss State Secretary Jacques de Watteville met with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Minister of State on Combatting Corruption Panagiotis Nikoloudis in Athens, following-up on an earlier meeting with Minister of State Nikos Pappas and Minister Nikoloudis on March 26 (see Press Release below).

Switzerland and Greece have continued their talks on improving cooperation on tax matters. These talks took place in a open and constructive climate. It was considered important that Greece develops measures to regulate the past in order to facilitate the automatic exchange of information in taxation matters. These talks will be continued.

The following statements have been given in a press conference following  the meeting:


Jacques de Watteville:

Thank you. Good afternoon. It’s been a pleasure for me to meet Mr Varoufakis and Mr Nikoloudis. We have met already in the end of March with Mr Pappas. Today we had indeed a very fruitful and constructive meeting.

Switzerland is aware of the complexity of the situation in Greece and the challenging situation of the Greek government and of the challenges faced by the Greek population and Switzerland wants to support the efforts to overcome these challenges and we are doing this especially through our contribution in the IMF.

In this context we want to enhance the cooperation between Greece and Switzerland as well as we do at international level to fight efficiently tax fraud and tax evasion.

We have just concluded an agreement with the European Union concerning the automatic exchange of information which means that this agreement should be signed quit soon and this will apply also to Greece and will be a huge step in developing cooperation between our two countries.

We have already several tools and agreements in force, which allow full cooperation to fight tax crimes, and with the move towards automatic exchange of information, is a new step and now we have to find the right way to have a good transition from the present situation towards a new one with implementation of automatic exchange o information.  This was the purpose of our meeting today.


Yanis Varoufakis:

We had a very constructive discussion regarding the procedure that will lead to the conclusion of a political declaration between the governments of Greece and Switzerland. The Greek government will draft legislation regarding the provisions of voluntary disclosure by Greek citizens to the Greek tax authorities reflecting best EU practice and maintain a line of communication with the Swiss authorities so that, once the Bill is passed by the Greek Parliament, a political declaration between the two countries can be signed and implemented. We are convinced that today’s meeting is an important step enhancing a fruitful collaboration between our two countries.


Panagiotis Nikoloudis:

Hello from me too. My two distinguished colleges have covered the issues that were discussed today. I would have very little to add on the same topic.

I have recently stated that the government will take all the necessary measures at the legislatively level, or the drafting and signing agreements with other countries so that it will be possible to tax liable Greeks wherever they may have deposited their money. This statement of mine is confirmed today with the decisions we have taken.

Going forward in time, I would like to send a message to all those who know – and all of them know- that they owe money the Greek public sector, whether their money is in Greece or in Switzerland or anywhere else. They have a real interest in disclosing their assets.

Our target will be to serve the interest of Switzerland, the interest of Greece as well as the interest of tax payers who are obliged to be taxed in Greece. They also have an interest after the conclusion of these procedures to adapt to this programme that will be implemented, they have to believe that it is in their interest and in any case, they will not avoid taxation if they don’t comply voluntarily. Thank you.  

(Source: Greek Finance Ministery)



SIF Press Release 26.3.2015

sda-Meldung (de/fr) 28.04.2015