IRS demands Swiss banks cough up info

Migros will not stock alcohol, Health minister Alain Berset cleared of charges, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from June 14 – 17.


If U.S. clients refuse to comply with F.A.C.T.A., Swiss banks will have to release their names.


US demands Switzerland hand over information


The U.S. federal tax institution, the IRS, this week announced that it has asked Swiss authorities again to supply information on accounts in 26 financial institutions. The bank accounts are related to American clients who have not given their consent to Swiss banks to share their financial information, otherwise known as F.A.C.T.A. (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The Swiss banks include UBS, PostFinance and others. The affected clients have 20 days to agree before their names will be released to the IRS. Read more.



Hiding your money? Don’t use Switzerland.



Migros to remain booze-free


After nearly 100 years of being historically alcohol-free, Swiss residents this week voted to keep the popular grocery store chain Migros dry. All ten cooperatives which operate Migros stores, restaurants and take-away shops upheld the ban. While Zürich and Bern voted 80% in favor of remaining alcohol-free, the wine-making regions of Switzerland – Valais and Ticino – were the closest to overturning it at 45% for changing the rules. “The cooperative members have shown their commitment to a traditional feature of our brand,” said Ursula Nord, president of the board of directors of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. Read more.


Alain Berset has been accused of acting “dictatorial” in his role as the director of the Covid-19 pandemic response.


Swiss minister walks away from blackmail scandal


The Swiss parliament this week has cleared Alain Berset of any charges related to using state resources to fend off a blackmail attempt, according to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Berset has been the head of Switzerland’s Covid-19 pandemic response. A report first surfaced in 2020 that an unidentified German woman, allegedly Berset’s former lover, had been fined for threatening to publish letters and photographs of Berset unless he paid her 100,000 CHF. In response, Berset used a government car to make a trip to Germany to dissuade her; parliament found Berset paid for all expenses related to that trip himself. Read more.


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