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Anti-EU group warns of “creeping” integration

An organisation opposing integration with the European Union has said it is "deeply concerned" about the Swiss government bowing to foreign pressure.

The Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland held its annual meeting in Bern on Saturday, calling on the government to defend the country’s interests.

The group, connected to the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, is claiming a “creeping EU accession of Switzerland”. It wants Switzerland to cancel bilateral treaties with the 27-nation political union.

The organisation’s president, Pirmin Schwander, said that Swiss people were “losing patience with this government and will send them into the desert”.

It also demanded the Swiss government adopt a clear strategy to defend the country’s banking secrecy and said it would launch a popular initiative to put any important international agreements – including conventions relating to double taxation – to a popular vote.

Conservative German politician Franz-Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the youngest son of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the organiser of the failed assassination plot against Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, was the keynote speaker.

“Look closely before you commit,” von Stauffenberg, a critic of the EU, said.

Christoph Blocher, the billionaire industrialist and former People’s Party cabinet minister, founded the Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland nearly 25 years ago.

swissinfo with agencies

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