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No foreign knives for the army

Swiss soldiers will continue to pack knives made in Switzerland, after the defence ministry decided not to have them produced them abroad.

This content was published on February 10, 2008 - 12:54

The NZZ am Sonntag and Sonntag newspapers revealed on Sunday that Victorinox in canton Schwyz would supply 65,000 silver knives, worth around SFr1.2 million ($1.1 million).

The defence ministry's procurement agency caused an uproar when it announced that it was calling for tenders from abroad last summer, claiming that under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules it had no choice given the size of the contract.

According to Sonntag, the army chose though to demand a blade that could be locked into position, effectively making it a weapon and no longer subject to WTO standards.

While foreign offers were still considered, the procurement services allegedly decided though that Swiss quality standards were still the best for the army.

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