The government is seeking to secure a deposit from Switzerland toward the taxes Greece will collect following the completion of negotiations over an agreement for the taxation of deposits of Greeks in Swiss banks.
Switzerland had rejected the payment of such deposits to countries other than Great Britain and Austria, with which it had reached an agreement on the taxation of their citizens’ deposits at Swiss lenders. Austria was the last country to receive such a deposit, amounting to 1 billion euros. An agreement reached with Germany was never implemented after being voted down by Germany’s upper house last December.
Bank experts said that the Greek demand for a down payment is at odds with a recent public statement by the Swiss government that no more down payments would be made in the case of any new tax agreements. However Athens will try to improve the outcome of its negotiations with Bern on the issue given they have not brought the desired results yet.