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Call for state arms firm to stay out of politics

A parliamentary group has criticised Ruag, a state-owned technology concern with a large defence unit, for spending on the campaign against a proposed arms export ban.

This content was published on November 11, 2009 - 10:39

On November 29 the Swiss will vote on the proposal to ban the transit of war material from Switzerland – an initiative put forward by the pacifist Group for Switzerland without an Army.

The security committee of the House of Representatives, which advises fellow parliamentarians on security matters, has called on the government to prohibit the practice of state-owned companies financing political campaigns.

It is asking for principles to be established on this issue, to which all state-owned companies would have to adhere.

Ruag estimates that half of its 4,000-strong workforce would be threatened if the initiative were successful.

The company has contributed some SFr200,000 ($199,000) to campaigns run by industry associations of which it is a member.

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