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Cabinet decides against anti-racism law change

The government has decided against making any amendments to the Swiss anti-racism law, contrary to the intentions of outgoing Justice Minister Christoph Blocher.

Blocher caused an outcry in October 2006 when he announced during a trip to Turkey that he wanted to change the law, saying it gave him "stomach ache".

The cabinet said in a statement that it had taken note of suggestions drawn up by Blocher's ministry, but did not see the need to amend the legislation.

Blocher, a leading light of the rightwing Swiss People's Party, told Swiss radio he had wanted to present his changes to the cabinet next year.

However, in a surprise move he was not re-elected to his post by parliament earlier this month and will be replaced in the justice ministry by party colleague Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf in 2008.

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said on Swiss radio on Friday evening that cabinet did not want to change the anti-racism law because it had been approved by the population in a nationwide vote in 1994.


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