Cabinet moots extending stimulus package

The government considers measures to boost tourism in Switzerland Keystone

The government is considering extending a possible stimulus package to offset the damaging impact of the strong Swiss franc on the economy.

This content was published on January 19, 2011 minutes

Additional measures include pushing ahead free trade agreements with other countries to boost the export-oriented industry as well as additional funds for the Swiss tourism industry.

Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told a news conference on Wednesday that the cabinet considered the situation of the strong franc against the euro was serious. However, he denied that Switzerland was facing a crisis.

“The currency issue will probably lead to a weaker economic growth, but there is still growth,” Schneider-Ammann said.

He reiterated that the Swiss economy has been spared the worst so far and that growth stood at about 2.7 per cent while the official unemployment rate was 3.6 per cent.

Schneider-Ammann had held discussions over possible scenarios to prevent a crisis and would take decisions in the weeks to come. He said the government was seeking ways to make transparent who may have benefited from the strong Swiss currency.

Last week the economics ministry held top-level talks with the business community and trade unions amid calls for state intervention to halt alleged currency speculation by commercial banks.

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