Ambassador told to keep a lower profile

In party mood: Ambassador Thomas Borer and wife Shawne Fielding Keystone

Switzerland's ambassador to Germany, Thomas Borer, has received a warning from the foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, to avoid making controversial comments following a series of unfavourable headlines.

This content was published on December 1, 2000 - 17:32

Deiss summoned Borer to Bern on Friday, and told him he should not do anything which could damage the excellent bilateral relations between Switzerland and Germany.

Borer and his wife, the former Texan beauty queen, Shawne Fielding, have featured on the front pages of the tabloid press in Switzerland for several months. Initially, the interest in the diplomat couple focussed on their appearances at lavish parties in Berlin.

However, Borer landed in further deep water on a Swiss television programme last month when he alleged that Klaus Meine, the lead singer of the German rock band, The Scorpions, was homosexual. His remark followed a press photo in which Borer's wife was pictured on Meine's knee.

Borer immediately apologised for the remark. But shortly after the incident, he was told by Bern to be more discreet in future.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry described Friday's meeting with Borer as "a rare occurrence but not exceptionally unusual".

Borer became prominent as the head of Switzerland's task force which sought to explain the country's wartime policies during the controversy in the late 1990s over Holocaust-era assets in Swiss banks.

He was recently tipped to move from the ambassador's job in Berlin to become head of the Swiss Bankers' Association but he did not get the job.

swissinfo with agencies

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