Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has met the entire Swiss government during a two-day state visit to Bern, speaking about issues from the Swiss vote to stem European Union immigration to solving a long-standing tax evasion dispute between the countries.
The 88-year-old Napolitano said on Monday that he hoped the February 9 vote to re-introduce quotas for EU immigrants to Switzerland would leave “enough room” for the necessary co-operation between the EU and Switzerland. Italy will take over the EU presidency in July.
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who welcomed Napolitano and met him on Monday, said he hoped Italy and Switzerland could quickly find a solution to tax evasion questions that had plagued their relationship for years.
“We have to act quickly here to find constructive solutions that are satisfactory to both sides,” Burkhalter said, adding that the relationship between Switzerland and Italy was too dynamic and important to be marred by any blacklists.
Finance Minister Evelyne Widmer-Schlumpf also took part in the talks with Napolitano and was pleased with the result, according to the foreign ministry. She indicated a solution to outstanding tax and financial questions is expected in the near future.
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