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Swiss to Give U.S. Files On Suspected Tax Cheats

The Swiss parliament has approved a treaty with the United States that will hand thousands of files on suspected tax cheats to U.S. authorities.

A majority of 81 to 61 lawmakers in Switzerland's lower house have voted in favor of the government-backed deal. Fifty-three lawmakers abstained on the issue that has been portrayed as a nail in the coffin for Swiss banking secrecy.

Tuesday's vote passed after the powerful Swiss People's Party dropped its opposition. A first attempt last week to have parliament approve the treaty was blocked when the nationalist party and the left-wing Social Democrats voted 'no'.

Technical details remain to be ironed out and the proposal may still be put to the Swiss public in a referendum before it finally becomes law.