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Military Spending Swiss army head apologises for high expenses claims

Philippe Rebord

Philippe Rebord took charge of the Swiss Armed Forces on January 1, 2017.

(Keystone)

The head of the Swiss Armed Forces, Philippe Rebord, has apologised for the excessive expenses incurred by the military leadership. In an interview given Saturday to the "Samstagsrundschau" broadcast of the Swiss German radio SRF, he recognised "moral errors" had been made.

This "culture" has existed in the army for years, but not enough thought has been given to its external impact, Rebord added. "We cannot be blamed for anything in criminal and disciplinary terms, but in moral terms, yes," said the army chief, admitting that his institution had held on to certain habits no longer in tune with the times.

"As of today, I must admit that moral faults have been committed in the army hierarchy," said the army chief.  "I would like to apologize to all the people in Switzerland, who rightly expect to make good use of the taxpayers' money.

In his opinion, a change of culture is necessary in the military. The minister of defence, Guy Parmelin, has given orders to that end. Rebord, for his part, says he will do everything in his power to ensure that the new expense regulations help usher this change. 

RTS/ds

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