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Swiss want tougher line on right-wing extremism

Right-wing extremists disrupted Kaspar Villiger's August 1 speech. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

The Swiss want the authorities to do more to clamp down on right-wing extremism, according to a survey published on Sunday.

Sixty-eight per cent of those questioned said they thought the police had been too lax when a crowd of neo-nazis disrupted a speech given by the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, on August 1. Police did nothing to prevent the extremists getting to the site of the speech, or to disperse the group when it heckled the minister.

The survey in the tabloid “SonntagsBlick” newspaper found only 18 per cent felt the police had behaved correctly. Thirteen per cent had no opinion.

The poll was carried out by the Isopublic polling institute, which questioned just over 1,000 people in German and French-speaking Switzerland.

In an interview with the French-language Sunday newspaper, “”, the justice minister, Ruth Metzler, defended the way the police in canton Uri behaved on August 1.

She said the law on data protection also made it necessary to destroy video recordings of the right-wing extremists.

But Metzler said she would raise the issue of right-wing extremism with the German interior minister, Otto Schilly, at the next meeting between Switzerland and its neighbouring countries in September.

However, she said that at the operational level, contacts with the German authorities were regular and worked very well.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR