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Swiss quality Cabinet meets for business and mingles with crowd

Members of the Swiss government and the cabinet staff at Zurich railway station

Finance Minister Maurer (centre) and Justice Minister Keller-Sutter (second from left) accompanied by members of the Federal Chancellery leaving Zurich railway station on their way to government meeting.  

(© Keystone/Walter Bieri)

The Swiss government has held a weekly meeting outside the capital, Bern, and met the public in Zurich as part of its tradition of showing its close ties with the citizens.

All seven members of the government, including the chief-of-staff office, travelled by train to Zurich and walked to the building housing the Swiss National Museum, where they held a regular cabinet meeting.

About 150 people used the opportunity to shake hands and clink glasses with the politicians outside the museum in windy and cold weather.

Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, praised the country’s political system and mentality.

“I don’t think this [travelling on a public train and walking the streets without being jostled] is possible in any other country,” he said. “We have to ensure we keep this a special quality of Switzerland.”

Maurer, himself from the Zurich region, also offered consolation to locals who often feel snubbed by people from other regions of the country as rich and arrogant. He said the business capital of Switzerland was crucial for the country.

The tradition of holding one government meeting per year outside Bern was introduced in 2010, according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper.

Cheese buffet in the courtyard of the National Museum in Zurich

A selection of cheeses was prepared for the public meeting with the members of the government outside the National Museum in Zurich.

(© Keystone/Walter Bieri)

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