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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

An army soldier patrols past posters showing faces of some of the candidates for French president on Sunday.

(Keystone)

Here’s a round-up of some top stories in the Swiss Sunday papers.

Most of the French and German-language papers were focused on the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday.

Close to the French border, Geneva-based Le Temps noted that the first announcement at midday on Sunday in an election campaign “rich with twists and turns” showed a participation rate of just 28.54% which was comparable to the turnout of 2012.

An analysis by the Tribune de Genève showed strength for the majority on the right. World attention focused on the voting, which gave French citizens sharply different options for choosing a world role.

There were four front-runners, but only the top two of 11 candidates advance to the May 7 decisive election that comes amid a recent surge of populism stretching from the United States to Europe.

But by late in the afternoon, the electoral participation rate had jumped to 69.42% based on French interior ministry figures. Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag noted that this rate was slightly lower than in 2012, but the voting booths were being kept open an hour longer than usual. The paper also observed that the French ministry “still had time for a small joke” posted on Twitter:

french tweet

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Security worries

For the first time in years, far-right extremists have been making gains in western Switzerland largely because of the popularity of far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, according to Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick.

Other Swiss news media focused on an event planned by Swiss Islamists for early May that has been causing worry about safety among Swiss authorities.

The gathering, called “Islam Salam: Longing for Peace 2017”, is expected to draw almost 1,000 people to the World Trade Center in Zurich. But Swiss authorities reportedly have been considering whether to impose bans on some of the participants.

Fat-cat pay

In other concerns, Swiss Economic Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told Sunday newspaper Zentralschweiz am Sonntag that so-called fat-cat salaries for top bankers at Credit Suisse are stupid and divisive.

He told the newspaper that the high salaries have “nothing to do with the world market conditions", and represent "a recklessness” that will sooner or later lead to backlash by dividing social classes.

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