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Secret service chief calls for more Swiss spies

The head of the newly unified Swiss foreign and domestic intelligence services, Markus Seiler, has called for more counterintelligence personnel.

In an interview published in the newspapers SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche, Seiler revealed that the intelligence services also plan a greater presence in Swiss embassies.

"As an open country with an open economy and many international organisations, Switzerland is a stomping ground for secret services," Seiler said, adding that the growing number of spying cases worried him greatly.

"This is why more [Swiss] personnel have to be put in place for counterintelligence," he said.

Seiler has been in charge of unifying the foreign and domestic services under one ministry following a decision by parliament last year.

From the beginning of 2010 both units will pool data for evaluation, but information gathering will still be carried out separately.