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Nuclear power, economy mark parliament session

The Senate is to debate a nuclear opt-out plan proposed by the government


Parliament on Monday meets for the start of its final three-week session ahead of the October 23 elections.

High on the agenda are debates in the Senate on a proposed opt-out from nuclear energy and the promotion of renewable energy resources.

The House of Representatives approved the withdrawal from nuclear energy in the June parliament session. The decision foresees shutting down the country’s five reactors by 2034, but a Senate committee has proposed an alternative option for power plants with updated nuclear technology.

The House will also join in the debate over tougher banking laws to bolster capital standards and protect the wider economy from a future financial crisis. The Senate came out in favour of a capital equity ratio of at least 19 per cent for big banks.

Both chambers have tabled the issues of the strong Swiss franc and the government’s plan to soften the economic impact, including a SFr870 ($1.1 billion) financial aid package. There will also be a general debate on immigration. Both discussions are seen as ideal opportunities for the political parties to flag up their positions ahead of October ‘s parliamentary elections.

Other major issues tabled for the session are a proposed reform of the Swiss militia army, including a reduction in the number of its members, and a long-standing controversy over the introduction of health insurance systems to curb rising costs.

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