Compensation for contract children
The victims of compulsory administrative measures should not just receive an apology but also compensation. A popular initiative aiming to achieve this objective was launched on 31 March. It calls for a 500-million-franc compensation fund to be created. The money should be used to help the worst-affected victims and make amends for the injustice they suffered. Parliament adopted a law at the beginning of March that recognises this injustice. It also governs access to records and an historical reappraisal but does not provide for any financial compensation. This is now to be achieved through a popular initiative.
Members of Parliament fond of travel
Swiss Members of Parliament spent more time travelling abroad last year than ever before: 466 person travel days were booked compared with just 302 days in 2012. Out on his own at the top of the travel list was Filippo Lombardi, who visited 22 countries as the Council of States President. Travel costs for Members of Parliament amounted to 520,200 francs in 2013. They totalled 328,900 francs in the previous year.
More Swiss wine drunk
The Swiss consumed just under 107 million litres of Swiss wine in 2013. According to details from the Federal Office for Agriculture, that is almost 10 million litres more than in the previous year. The market share of Swiss wine amounts to 39% of a total of 273 million litres consumed. Among Swiss wines, consumption of white and red wines, standing at 53 million litres and 54 million litres respectively, is almost identical. Among foreign products, significantly more red wine – 183 million litres – is consumed.
Disclosure of bank data for US clients
Swiss banks must obtain approval from their US clients to provide data to the US authorities under the FATCA agreement. They must also inform clients about a possible administrative assistance procedure in accordance with this agreement. The FATCA agreement with the USA will enter into force before 1 July 2014, according to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. If a bank does not receive from a US client a declaration of consent to the transfer of account details to the US Internal Revenue Service within a stipulated period, the account will be classified as a “non-consenting US account”. The US authority may request details of the “non-consenting US accounts” from Switzerland on the basis of this information using the administrative assistance procedure.
The advertisement by soliswiss, not clearly labelled as such, that appeared on the back page of the April 2014 issue of “Swiss Review” caused some confusion. Some readers got the impression that the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) was supporting the petition launched by soliswiss for the integration of soliswiss into the new law on the Swiss abroad and for a default guarantee from federal government. However, this was simply a paid-for advertisement that had nothing to do with OSA.