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Political parties announce positions on upcoming referenda

Federal councellors, Ruth Dreifuss and Joseph Deiss, flank the Christian Democratic party president, Adalbert Durrer, as they decide to vote in favour of two of the three energy initiatives Keystone

Three of the four government parties have been making public their positions in advance of the referenda due to be held on September 24.

This content was published on August 19, 2000 - 14:45

The Swiss people will vote on a proposed tax on non-renewable energy and a move to limit the number of foreigners to 18 per cent.

At their delegate meeting in canton Vaud, the Radical Party voted to reject the people's initiative calling for a ceiling on the number of foreigners in Switzerland. One hundred and eighty six delegates voted for a no-vote while just seven votes were placed in support of the initiative.

The Christian Democrats have voted in favour of two of the three proposed taxes on non-renewable energy resources. They rejected the solar initiative but accepted the three other energy initiatives.

The People's Party's assembly meeting in Geneva has been marked by dozens of people who are protesting outside their meeting hall.

It is the first time in 10 years that the People's Party has held their meeting in Geneva - a clear indication it wants to make inroads into French-speaking Switzerland. Its support there is small, and its leaders are anxious to show that the party's reach extends beyond German Switzerland.

Most eyes at the party assembly will be on its two leading antagonists: the current president and defence minister, Adolf Ogi - who is also its only representative in the cabinet - and the hardline populist, Christoph Blocher. Ogi represents the more liberal canton Berne-based wing of the party; Blocher's power base is centred in the Zurich area.

They have disagreed publicly over a number of issues, including Switzerland's position on Europe, and their speeches will be watched carefully. Opponents of Ogi have openly questioned whether he should still belong to the party.

swissinfo with agencies

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