The Swiss government stated on Wednesday, that the country is looking at retaliating against the European Union if it does not grant Swiss stock exchanges the same regulatory status as other countries’ exchanges.

This declaration came from Swiss government spokesman Andre Simonazzi, as the EU was about to provide Swiss exchanges access to the bloc’s internal market for only one year, placing pressure on Bern to seal an overall regulatory deal.  Switzerland was taken back by the move, following last month’s agreement to contribute an extra 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.32 billion) to support newer EU members based on the assumption a deal for its market was established.

Simonazzi stated at a news conference following the weekly cabinet meeting that the Swiss financial center has met international standards and must not be discriminated against due to a technical matter.  “If the EU should nevertheless decide upon this discrimination, the government reserves the right to consider appropriate measures to react to the situation,” Simonazzi said, without going into further detail.

On Wednesday, the EU states shall vote on the proposal by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, on how to treat Swiss exchanges.  If the proposal is supported, the Commission will provisionally allow EU investors to access the Swiss exchanges and vice-versa to avoid disruption prior to the market rules coming into effect on Jan. 3.

Switzerland’s unwillingness to sign an general deal regarding its relations with the EU pushed the Commission to review the offer on trading venues, according to sources.

Brussels is seeking a full treaty to change the mixture of bilateral agreements that regulate ties with Switzerland, and both countries have made progress during last month’s visit by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The row over exchange access may threaten that progress. Bilateral ties had deteriorated in 2014, when Swiss voters demanded quotas on EU immigration, which then lessened following last year’s parliament system providing those registered as unemployed in Switzerland the first chance at available jobs.


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