GENEVA — Switzerland's days as a haven for the world's tax evaders may be numbered.
Under pressure from the United States and other troubled economies, the Swiss government announced Friday that it would cooperate in international tax investigations, breaking with a long-standing tradition of protecting wealthy foreigners accused of hiding billions of dollars. Austria and Luxembourg also said they would help.
"Against the background of the financial crisis, international cooperation has grown stronger particularly against tax crimes," Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz said.
But he insisted that the secrecy of Swiss banks would remain intact except when other countries provide compelling evidence of tax evasion.