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Diplomatic Conciliation of Investment Disputes: The Italian-Swiss Controversy on Secondary Residences in Engadine (1990–1992) and Its Lessons

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Chapter Summary

Direct arbitration is meant to avoid the politicization of investment disputes, as often happened in the past. The Italian government requests that conciliation or arbitration proceedings be commenced under the Italian-Swiss Treaty of Conciliation and Judicial Settlement of 20 September 1924. To avoid an aggravation to the prejudice of Italian interests, the Italian Government requests the Federal Government to use all means in its powers in order that the expropriation procedures pending or threatened be suspended. The Swiss statute provided a limited number of authorizations to be distributed annually between the several Swiss cantons as a requirement to acquire secondary residences (holiday apartments) by non-resident foreigners. The Federal Government (Bundesrat) has proposed to the government of the canton Grisons to resolve, through a compromise settlement, several dozen proceedings pending against Italian controlled companies which had acquired properties in the early 1970s in the Engadine by way of circumvention.

Keywords: circumvention; Engadine; Federal Government; investment disputes; Italian-Swiss Treaty of Conciliation; secondary residences; Swiss statute



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