Tag Archives | Switzerland

The Swiss Ban Makes Me Shudder

From The Guardian:

I can’t help imagining how I would feel if the attitudes reflected in the minaret vote were directed at my own community.

It’s a crude reaction but it’s the first one I had on hearing that the Swiss had voted to ban the building of minarets on mosques – the same reaction I have to the increasingly-frequent stories like it: how would I feel if this were not about them, but us? How, in other words, would I react if this latest attack were not on Muslims but on Jews?

It’s crude because no two situations are ever exactly the same, and Muslims and Jews have different histories – in Switzerland and everywhere else. But it’s useful, allowing the testing of any proposition against an almost instinctive yardstick of decency.

So how would I react if the Swiss voted to restrict the way synagogues are built? With horror, of course.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Switzerland To Turn Over Secret Bank Account Names

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Swiss government will be revealing to the U.S. government the names of all U.S. taxpayers holding Swiss bank accounts with balances greater than 1 million Swiss francs ($993,000).

The IRS is chomping at the bit: for decades, rich Americans have hidden money tax-free in secret Swiss bank accounts. Up to October 15, the IRS briefly offered a “Voluntary Disclosure” Program for all offshore account holders with undeclared income, giving people a chance to come clean and face reduced penalties. The program experienced a tsunami of applicants towards the final deadline, receiving about 14,700 confessions, far greater than expected.

Now the amnesty period is up.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Switzerland Tries To Stop Suicide Tourism

Roger Boyes writes for The Times:

Switzerland announced plans yesterday to crack down on “suicide tourism”, signalling that it might close the Dignitas clinic that has helped hundreds of terminally ill people to take their lives.

The plans — in the form of two draft Bills that will be offered for public debate — are likely to set off a rush of patients from Britain and elsewhere in Europe since Switzerland has become the main destination for those seeking assisted suicide.

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Justice Minister, said that two options would be presented to parliament. Either clinics such as Dignitas and Exit, which deals chiefly with Swiss patients, will have to accept much stricter regulation or they will be closed down.

The tightening of the rules would require patients to present two medical opinions declaring their disease incurable, that death is expected within months and that they have made their decision of sound mind and fully aware of their options…

Read the rest

Continue Reading