The Swiss authorities have hit back at a United States presidential election campaign video that portrays the country as a tax haven and lampoons Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his use of offshore bank accounts.
In the video released by supporters of the rival Democrat Party and incumbent Barack Obama, a character named Miss Swiss Bank Account describes Romney as a “boss millionaire with accounts everywhere”.
The film gives “the impression that having a bank account in Switzerland is dubious in itself and its only aim is to hide money from the tax authorities,” the Swiss foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Switzerland’s Washington embassy reportedly expressed its unhappiness at the clip to the Obama team, according to the Swiss News Agency.
In the clip, entitled “Romney Girl”, she hails Romney’s use of “tax shelters everywhere”, while a list of countries appear on screen showing Romney with bank accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands and Ireland. It also parodies the top 40 hit "Barbie Girl" from the 1990s.
The fictional Swiss Miss allegedly hails from Ostermundigen, just outside the Swiss capital Bern and is the proud daughter of a Nestlé factory worker and a cuckoo clock maker. According to the website set up to promote the video, she formerly worked as a tax consultant for offshore bank accounts at banking giant UBS.
The film, released earlier this month, is a fresh attempt to hurt the Republican candidate who dragged his heels over releasing his tax returns and then only produced his returns for the last two years.
In July, US magazine Vanity Fair revealed that Romney had a Swiss bank account worth $3 million (SFr2.9 million), according to his 2010 tax return.
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