News World EU sends ultimatum to Switzerland on stock exchanges

EU sends ultimatum to Switzerland on stock exchanges

The European Union executive will offer Swiss stock exchanges a two-year extension of their right to operate in the bloc if the Swiss government approves an overall deal on future relations on Friday, EU sources told Reuters.

If Switzerland does not back the draft pact, however, the European Commission will not extend the recognition of the SIX Swiss Exchange – the country’s main stock exchange – and other trading venues beyond this year, EU sources said following a meeting of EU diplomats on the issue on Wednesday.

The Swiss cabinet is expected to decide on Friday on whether to back the draft agreement reached with the Commission on future bilateral ties.

“It’s deal time. Playing for time wouldn’t change anything. The draft will not be changed anymore,” an EU official said, staking out a hard line that is likely to be replicated in talks with Britain on its future relations with the bloc after it leaves the EU in March.

Under the draft deal, which would govern EU-Swiss relations currently regulated by about 120 accords by sector, Switzerland would automatically adapt its migration and social security rules to changes in EU legislation, EU diplomats said.

The EU wants the overall framework agreement before it extends recognition of Swiss exchanges beyond the end of this year, when it will otherwise expire.

Financial operators from countries that are not members of the EU can operate in the bloc under a so-called “equivalence” regime which recognises that foreign-country market rules are compatible with EU legislation.

This regime, which would also concern British firms after Brexit, is granted for limited periods and could be suspended by the EU anytime if significant changes are made in foreign rules.

The SIX bourse has repeatedly warned that it risked losing much of its exchange business if no EU-Swiss deal was reached by the end of the year on future relations.

Switzerland has been for decades integrated in the EU market but is not a member of the 28-country bloc.

DEAL?

But the chances of a deal remain slim.

Political sources in Switzerland said the Swiss cabinet does not have a majority to press ahead with a treaty deal.

A Swiss government spokesman declined to comment, adding it “will inform the public after having taken its decisions”.

EU officials also recognised that Friday’s cabinet meeting might not be definitive, but they insisted that there will not be a new offer from Brussels.

EU states supported the Commission’s stance, an EU official said.

A Commission spokesman declined to comment.

Under the draft deal currently on the Swiss government’s table, an arbitration tribunal would resolve bilateral disputes but the European Court of Justice would have the final say on matters concerning the application of EU laws, diplomats said.

The Swiss would also contribute to the EU budget and provide financial support to poorer regions in the EU in a way that is proportional to the benefits the Alpine country draws from having unhindered access to the EU market.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Renewed fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh threatens U.S.-backed truce

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Monday of violating a new U.S.-brokered ceasefire in fighting over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, casting doubt...

Russia’s Lavrov in Athens to discuss East Med regional issues

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday is paying a working visit to Athens, Greece, with special attention to be paid to the...

Police hand out 81 fines over covid-19 measures violation

Police booked 78 individuals and three establishments all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for violation of measures to contain the spread of...

Mainly fine on Monday, dust in the air

Mainly fine on Monday with variable light to moderate winds, force two to three Beaufort. The sea will be smooth to slight. Temperatures will rise to...

UK special forces storm tanker and detain stowaways in Channel

British special forces stormed a Greek-operated oil tanker in the English channel on Sunday to wrestle control of the vessel from seven stowaways who...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...