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Parliament winter session to focus on social security

Reforms of the old age pension scheme, unemployment benefits as well as changes to criminal law are set to mark parliament's regular winter session.

Both chambers of parliament will hold special debates about agriculture during the three-week meeting, which is underway in the capital, Bern.

As is customary for the winter session, parliamentarians are to discuss next year's federal budget and appoint new speakers, according to the official programme.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard is expected to be appointed Swiss president for 2010 – a largely ceremonial post which is rotated among cabinet minister on a yearly basis.

Other highlights are decisions about the proposed liberalisation of the postal market as well as further discussions on health reforms.

Several controversial people's initiatives are also tabled, including plans for the automatic deportation of criminal foreigners, a halt to the acquisition of fighter jets for the airforce and the introduction of higher taxes for the wealthy.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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