Greeks flee Swiss banks

The fear of having their deposits taxed and personal data revealed has forced several Greek clients of Swiss banks to move their deposits to other countries, according to data presented on Thursday in Parliament by Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis.

His Swiss counterpart, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, told Reuters that negotiations have begun with Athens for the taxing of Greek deposits in banks in Switzerland, estimated at 60 billion euros.

The Greek government is negotiating a similar agreement to the one the Swiss have with Germany, which provides for taxing deposits with rates of up to 41 percent.

Sachinidis said the interest tax delivered to Athens from Greek-held accounts in Switzerland dropped to 5.9 million euros in 2010 from 9.9 million in 2009.