The Economics Minister meeting Ivanka Trump, Sepp Blatter’s regrets and money for start-ups are among the stories making the Swiss newspapers.
Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann will be meeting Ivanka Trump, the daughter of United States President Donald Trump, during his trip to the US on July 17-18. A spokesman from the economics ministry has confirmed a report in the SonntagsBlick and Le Matin Dimanche newspapers.
Part of their discussions will be on Swiss-US collaboration on apprenticeships. Ivanka Trump is her father’s adviser and the president has expressed an interest in encouraging apprenticeships in the US.
Schneider-Ammann is quoted in Le Matin Dimanche as saying that the meeting showed the “good relations” between Switzerland and the US.
Boost for Swiss start-ups
Meanwhile, Schneider-Ammann wants to collect around CHF500 million ($521 million) in private funds to support Swiss start-ups, according to the NZZ am Sonntag.
On Friday more than 12 big names from banking, insurance, foundations and business signed a declaration to support the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, the newspaper reported.
Credit Suisse, UBS and Mobiliar have raised the prospect of CHF200-300 million, the minister said in an interview.
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G20 "promotion" for Switzerland
Also on a diplomatic mission is Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who will travel next week to Hamburg for a G20 meeting, the first time a Swiss minister has attended the G20 for a mainstream meeting.
Maurer will take part in a meeting of finance ministry on the sidelines of the summit on Friday, said the Swiss finance ministry, confirming a report in the SonntagsBlick. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will be among those attending.
Before that Swiss ministers have usually attended pre-summit meetings, if invited.
Attending the meeting of the 20 leading industrial and emerging economies, which is hosted by German chancellor Angela Merkel, are US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Discussions are expected on international trade, the climate and migration.
Sepp speaks out
Away from the diplomatic front, Sepp Blatter, the former president of world football governing body FIFA, has said that he regrets staying as long as he did in the post, which he held from 1998 to 2015.
In an interview published in the SonntagsBlick, Blatter, now 81, said: “I should have stopped earlier”. He was forced to step down in 2015 over a scandal that linked FIFA to corruption, bribery and vote rigging, prompting numerous arrests and criminal investigations in Switzerland and the United States. Blatter told the newspaper his ousting was “a relief”.
Blatter defended his decision to not publish the full Garcia report into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. This was belatedly published by FIFA on Tuesday after it was leaked to a German newspaper. He said FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who had prepared a summary of the report, had advised him to only publish the summary because the rights of those mentioned in the report would have to be clarified before publication.
On the move to introduce the video assistant referee system (VAR), Blatter said he thought it made football games less attractive and stopped discussion. “Let the referees make mistakes,” he said.
Brad Pitt makes a visit
Amercian actor and art aficionado Brad Pitt has apparently been visiting St Gallen – during a private trip to Europe, that has also included Zurich.
Pitt, who was accompanied by an unnamed New York artist, visited the Kunstgiesserei St Gallen art foundry. This was apparently to discuss a large, as yet unknown, commission for the artist, reported the Ostschweiz am Sonntag newspaper.
The actor is said to have enjoyed a four-hour tour around the foundry, which has been used by such names as Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy and Urs Fischer to help realise their sculptures, the newspaper said. It based its report on “several sources and eye witnesses”. The foundry has not commented, said the Ostschweiz am Sonntag.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj