March 25, 2009 / 4:03 PM / 11 years ago

Swiss delay jet buy until 2010 after tax spat

ZURICH, March 25 (Reuters) - Switzerland confirmed on Wednesday it would delay until at least 2010 a decision on buying new fighter jets — a move seen by media as a reprisal against Germany for its campaign against Swiss bank secrecy.

The Ministry of Defence, headed by nationalist politician Ueli Maurer, said in a statement the ministry would first draft a report on the country’s defence policy, due out in December 2009, and then decide on whether it needed new planes.

A decision on the project, worth 2.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.96 billion), was initially expected in July.

“The decision will be delayed by at least six months,” said a defence ministry spokesman, who declined to comment on any link between a tax spat with Germany and the decision.

Germany is one of the countries that could build the jets.

Reporting by Andrew Thompson; writing by Lisa Jucca; editing by Tim Hepher

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