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Johann Schneider-Ammann Economics minister to step down from Federal Council

Johann Schneider-Ammann at the Bernerhof Hotel in Bern, Switzerland in February 2018

Originally from canton Bern, Schneider-Ammann earned an electrical engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Technology Institute ETH Zurich in 1977.

(Keystone)

Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann will not seek another term in the seven-member government, and plans to step down by the end of next year.

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He told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper on Friday that he had “a clear landmark, namely the end of the 2019 legislative term”, which would be his last. 

Aged 66, Schneider-Ammannexternal link began his career as an engineer and businessman, before being elected to the House of Representatives for the centre-right Radical Party in 1999. He took his seat on the Federal Council in 2010, and served a one-year term as Switzerland’s president in 2016 — a mainly ceremonial post.

Key political issues for Schneider-Ammann during his tenure included ensuring full employment in Switzerland and maintaining industry.

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One of the achievements he was most proud of was a free-trade agreement with China, which took effect in 2014. He had to negotiate more unpopular issues as well, notably the ongoing agricultural reform with the country’s main farmers organisation.

His decision to step down follows that of Transport Minister Doris Leuthard last July.

SDA-ATS/RTS/cl

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