Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey meets German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Ascona

Bern, Press release, 06.08.2011

Micheline Calmy-Rey, Federal President and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), met German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for talks on Saturday 6 August 2011 on the sidelines of the Locarno Film Festival. They both praised the progress that has been achieved in the area of taxation, as well as the generally intensive relations between Switzerland and Germany.

Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey stated that she was pleased that the negotiations concerning an agreement on withholding tax will shortly be brought to a conclusion, and she went on to underscore the fact that “Switzerland’s banking sector has no interest in untaxed assets.” She noted that withholding tax is a fair way of taxing German assets without an automatic exchange of information, and it also guarantees the confidential management of client data. 

As was the case during previous meetings with Foreign Minister Westerwelle this year, Federal President Calmy-Rey again emphasised the fact that a constructive, objective and goal-oriented approach is also required when dealing with the other pending bilateral issues, including the problem of aircraft noise in the vicinity of Zurich Airport and the expansion of the Rhine Valley railway line as an access route to the NEAT. 

“Both these issues also involve the interests of Germany,” noted Micheline Calmy-Rey. Zurich Airport is an important factor for the economy of southern Germany, and the NEAT is a project aimed at increasing the north-south transport capacities, not only at the regional level, but also for the whole of Europe.

During their meeting they addressed other regional and international issues such as the situation in South Caucasus and the Middle East, the movements towards democracy in the Mediterranean region and the Gulf states, as well as the famine in the Horn of Africa region.  

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland - Germany

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