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Targets Cabinet aims for prosperity, security and cohesion

Schneider-Ammann with Federal Chancellor Thurnherr (left) and Finance Minister Maurer (right) at a news conference on Wednesday

(Keystone)

The Swiss cabinet says financial efficiency and leadership in research and innovation are key factors of its political agenda over the next four years.

Presenting a list of the 60 measures for the cabinet to envisage, Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said he wanted to help ensure that joblessness does not rise beyond current levels in Switzerland by the end of 2019.

The official unemployment rate was 3.7% last month.

Schneider-Ammann, who holds the rotating post of Swiss president this year, also stressed the importance of the Horizon 2020 research programme with the European Union. Brussels had partly suspended Swiss membership following voters’ decision in February 2014 to restrict immigration from the 28-nation bloc.

Financial constraints

At a news conference following Wednesday’s regular cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said a decrease in revenue as well as extra costs, notably for asylum and a reform of the social security system, were limiting the government’s possibilities for action.

The government foresees an annual deficit of about CHF500 million ($493 million) in 2017.  

He warned parliament not to reject the cabinet proposals, including planned spending cuts, as the budget must respect financial constraints under the so-called “debt brake mechanism”.

Discussions in parliament about the non-binding government targets for 2016-2019 are due to begin in April, according to the Federal Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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