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Merz discusses Europe policy in Sweden

Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz has met Sweden's Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt and Finance Minister Mats Odell in Stockholm.

This content was published on April 23, 2009 - 15:35

Sweden assumes the presidency of the European Union on July 1 and Merz outlined Switzerland's European policy to his hosts, emphasising the clear acceptance by the Swiss electorate last February of the renewal and extension of the free movement of people.

The global financial crisis and the counter measures taken by both countries were also discussed.

The ministers also considered the agreement on the taxation of savings income concluded between Switzerland and the EU.

Merz, also Switzerland's finance minister, reiterated the government's desire to retain the "coexistence model" and reject an automatic exchange of information. However, he emphasised Switzerland`s willingness to discuss improvements to the agreement with Brussels.

Switzerland was represented in Sweden by an honorary consul from 1887. In 1920 it opened a legation, which in 1957 was upgraded to an embassy.

Sweden is Switzerland's main Scandinavian trading partner. Exports are worth some SFr1.5 billion ($1.29 billion) annually.

swissinfo with agencies

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