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Blocher holds sway at party meeting in Zurich

Former Swiss cabinet minister Christoph Blocher has threatened that his rightwing Swiss People's Party could oppose future accords with the European Union.

This content was published on January 19, 2008 - 11:13

Speaking at the traditional Albisgütli party meeting in Zurich, Blocher said it might launch a referendum against the extension of free movement of people to Romania and Bulgaria if Brussels does not accept Switzerland's sovereignty in tax matters.

He added that an accord concerning electricity was another bone of contention.

The former justice minister, who was not re-elected in December by the Swiss parliament, spoke for almost an hour in front of the party faithful.

"We will fight if Swiss sovereignty in fiscal matters is not once and for all accepted as it is," Blocher said.

Brussels and Bern have in particular been arguing over tax breaks offered by some Swiss cantons to foreign companies.

Blocher, whose party announced it was going into opposition after he was ousted, also explained what that policy meant for him.

"It means bringing light into the night of incompetence and negligence."

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