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Leuthard "wellied" at cheese contest

Dozens of wellington boot-lobbing farmers have heckled Economics Minister Doris Leuthard during the 6th Mountain Cheese Olympics.

Leuthard was protected at the international competition for mountain cheeses, held in the small town of Saignelégier et Bellelay in canton Jura, by bodyguards with umbrellas.

Twenty police officers stepped in to calm the situation on Friday, which remained tense.

On Sunday, the Swiss Farmers' Association distanced itself from the protest.

Leuthard isn't the first government minister to get a hostile welcome in Saignelégier. In 2005 former Justice Minister Christoph Blocher faced protests by autonomists from the Jura region as well as anti-globalisation supporters during his visit to the town's National Horse Show.

Shoe-throwing has established itself as a popular form of political protest ever since an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at former United States President George W. Bush in 2008. In February 2009 Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was nearly hit by an item of flying footwear in London.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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