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Decision on third stimulus to come in summer

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard has said that cabinet expects to decide on a third economic stimulus package for Switzerland during the summer.

But any decisions will depend on new forecasts, Leuthard said in an interview with the newspapers Der Bund and the St Galler Tagblatt.

The economics minister said Switzerland's action would depend on whether legislators in the United States would back an $870 billion (SFr1.02 trillion) aid package.

Leuthard did not specify the scope of a third Swiss economic package, targeted for 2010, but said cabinet was preparing measures that could be implemented quickly "if the crisis becomes more severe and lasts longer".

Cabinet will also decide on a temporary reduction of Switzerland's value added tax (VAT).

Leuthard said the debate was not as much over the magnitude of any possible reduction but rather over whether it would be effective and stabilise consumption.

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