Foreign Swiss workers suffer discrimination

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According to The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) Swiss foreign workers are being unfairly treated.

The Swiss government has had to adopt a resolution to help expatriates facilitate this measure following a meeting last week.

The organisation claimed that Swiss expatriates were facing several barriers when trying to keep their taxed assets in Swiss banks accounts. Those based in the United States and Germany are said to be the worst affected.

The US government’s bid to reduce the number of tax evaders is said to have caused an increasing number of Swiss workers in America to make complaints as they were asked to terminate their accounts with very little notice.

Swiss banks have been demanding a minimum investment to open accounts or charging extortionate fees to Swiss expatriates in Germany. This supposedly helps banks regain losses they have experienced as a result of high administrative costs to the country’s government.

The OSA commented on the situation and called it “unacceptable” before condemning “any form of discrimination based on the country of residence or in the form of high minimum capital investment.”

According to the OSA, the forums on its SwissCommunity site have been dominated by the concern over banking restrictions.

Sarah Mastantuoni, head of OSA’s legal service, said The Federal Price Ombudsman has so far failed to investigate the situation.

Mastantuoni suggests expats transfer their money to the Swiss Post’s payment service, PostFinance as an alternative to Swiss banks.

OSA highlighted the need for Swiss expatriates to vote electronically. A six-month long campaign was launched by the group, which ends in mid-August.

The campaign has collected 6,200 signatures to present to Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter at this year’s congress of the Swiss Abroad in Lausanne.

Barbara Enge, OSA official said: “Not only expatriates stand to benefit from e-voting. For once, also citizens in Switzerland could benefit from our effort.”

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