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House votes down anthem singing

Switzerland's House of Representatives has voted against singing the national anthem at the beginning of its sessions.

This content was published on September 25, 2009 - 10:34

The motion, which would have heard politicians sing the Swiss Psalm four times per year, was defeated 93 to 83 on Friday. There were 15 abstentions.

It was tabled by Yvette Estermann, a Lucerne parliamentarian representing the rightwing Swiss People's Party. Casper Baader, the party's parliamentary group leader, had said that singing that anthem would "contribute to national cohesion".

Gabi Huber of the centre-right Radical Party warned against "show patriotism" in the chamber.

Opponents also pointed out that it would require parliamentarians to take singing lessons.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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