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Mood in Switzerland unfavourable on stolen data information

Thursday, 1 May 2014 - 9:38pm IST | Agency: PTI

Switzerland's envoy to India Linus von Castelmur today said there was a kind of "national resistance" in his country against giving information in cases of black money which have been sourced from 'stolen data'.

The Swiss Ambassador said India should "sympathise" with his country when it comes to deciding on a time frame as to when would India get full information on instances of illicit funds being stashed in the European nation.

Castelmur added that the Swiss banking norms have changed over the years and he was hopeful of some development on this front. "I think we have to see that Swiss banking has changed dramatically in the last five or ten years...now we have come clean, the Swiss banks have come clean that the problem would not arise any longer (of Swiss banking secrecy being absolute) and the government (Swiss) is also conscious that we would also have to offer solution to these kinds of problems.... The (Swiss) Finance Minister last year in September was trying to introduce a legislation (to simplify norms on data obtained from stolen data). That was a new legislation. Unfortunately, it didn't pass. There was a very strong resistance. Psychologically, I think this has to do perhaps with the feeling of Swiss legislators and MPs feelings that we are being pressured from the US and from other European countries and from emerging countries," the envoy said.

He said that the national mood was against giving the "giving in stolen data". "So, the mood was not there. Yes, we have to go forward and there was a kind of national resistance that we cannot give in stolen data there must be decency in human behaviour. We cannot give in but I think yes it is moving forward in many aspects," the Swiss Ambassador said during an interaction with officials of the Enforcement Directorate here.

Recently, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had written a two-page letter to his Swiss counterpart threatening to drag the European nation to multilateral foras like G20 for continuing to block Indian requests in this regard. 

Chidambaram had also reminded Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf of the April 2009 declaration adopted by G20 leaders stating that the "era of bank secrecy is over."


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