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Acting finance minister won't attend IMF meetings

Acting Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has said she will not attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington.

Widmer-Schlumpf based her decision, announced on Thursday, on the global financial situation.

Her ministry said she would remain in Switzerland so as to remain in direct contact with representatives of the Federal Banking Commission and National Bank, and to analyse the situation on the financial markets on a daily basis.

Switzerland will be represented at the meetings, which begin on Monday, by Economics Minister Doris Leuthard and National Bank President Jean-Pierre Roth.

Widmer-Schlumpf, who is justice minister, is standing in as head of the finance ministry while Hans-Rudolf Merz recovers from a heart attack last month.