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Court refuses to sound alarm over church bells

Not everyone's idea of the perfect alarm clock Keystone

The federal court has refused to rule on a case of a woman plagued by the early morning peals of bells from a nearby church.

The woman, from Bubikon in canton Zurich, turned to the court after the local authorities refused to give in completely to her demands to stop the church from ringing the bells before seven o’clock in the morning.

She appealed to the court in Lausanne despite the decision by the council in Bubikon to put an end to the ringing between five and six am, and to place a limit on the number of strikes to about 50.

The court said it understood the right of citizens to quiet, but local customs had to be taken into account as well, and it did not have the competency to rule on such customs. It also said the sound of bells was part of daily life in Switzerland, and could not be subject to maximum emission levels similar to those placed on industry or traffic.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR