The European Union has made it clear Swiss film makers are being placed at a disadvantage because Switzerland is not part of the European Union.This content was published on August 6, 2000 - 12:21
During a weekend visit to the Locarno film festival, the EU Commissioner for education and culture, Viviane Reding, said a new Europe-wide film development and marketing body "Media Plus" would prove of no benefit to the Swiss.
She said the new forum, due to start next year, would incorporate all EU member states, and - under certain conditions - all countries with applications pending to join the EU. But there was no place for Switzerland, she said.
Reding met the Swiss interior minister, Ruth Dreifuss - whose portfolio also includes culture - at the festival. Despite being left out in the cold on films, Reding told Dreifuss there were still opportunities to strengthen cooperation in the audio-visual field.
Dreifuss was one of several prominent politicians and representatives of Swiss business who attended the Locarno festival over its first weekend. Two other Swiss cabinet members, Adolf Ogi - who is defence minister and this year's Swiss president - and the transport, energy and communications minister, Moritz Leuenberger, were also in Locarno.
Among the foreign visitors was the German interior minister, Otto Schily.
Despite the rain which disrupted three of the first four open-air evening shows on the Piazza Grande, officials say film fans have been flocking to Locarno. They say an audience record may be set by the time the festival closes next weekend.
swissinfo with agencies
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