Swiss finance minister concerned about Covid-19 debt crisis in Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that this is biggest challenge in the history of the EU. Keystone / Andreas Gora / Pool

Ueli Maurer has warned that the financial crisis following Covid-19 and the resulting instability in Europe are a danger for Switzerland. 

This content was published on May 19, 2020 - 17:56

In an interview with public broadcaster RTSExternal link on Tuesday, he said that he is concerned about the repercussions on Switzerland of a possible debt crisis in certain countries, especially Italy. 

"It is dangerous for Switzerland, because it is necessary to have a Europe that is strong and united. The difference between the countries of the North and the South is also a problem for us. By the end of this year, Italy, for example, with its debts, is really a disaster for the European Union," said Maurer, who stressed that "Italy is a very important customer for Switzerland". 

The minister warned that Europe's stability is no longer a given now. According to him, the €500 billion aid package that was agreed yesterday between Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron could help but the situation remains difficult for the EU, as well as Switzerland. All 27 EU member states have to sign off on the final debt plan. 

Stronger apart 

According to Maurer, the dire financial situation demonstrates the superiority of the Swiss system and proves that Switzerland must pursue a different path from that of the European Union. 

"We are stronger if we are apart. Of course, with ties to the European Union, economic relations, but no more," he said.  

He also acknowledged that the debate on the redistribution of European debts is taking Switzerland further away from the EU. 

“Yes, absolutely. Our system is stronger than the others, so why change it?," he said. 

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