In exchange for immunity from prosecution for assisting tax evasion, the Swiss banks had to tell the U.S. Internal Revenue Service how they hid Americans’ assets, hand over data on secret accounts, and pay financial penalties.

To make matters worse, the Swiss have antagonized their key trading partner the European Union by more-or-less trashing the current agreement between the two. Switzerland gets largely unfettered access to the EU’s market of 500 million citizens on the condition that it subscribes to some key principles, including the free movement of labor, and it pays an entry fee.

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