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Senate approves IMF loan

Finance Minister Merz won approval for a multi-billion IMF loan Keystone

The Senate has endorsed a credit of up to $10 billion (SFr10.8 billion) for efforts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to counter the global economic crisis.

This content was published on May 27, 2009 - 12:57

A clear majority of the chamber voted for the loan, limited to two years, in line with the government.

Representatives of the rightwing Swiss People's Party argued against the credit, saying Switzerland was running unnecessary risks and was giving in to pressure by the international community.

"We could face further demands in the near future, if we cave in," warned This Jenny.

However, a majority agreed that it was in the interest of the Swiss export industry and financial sector to contribute to a stable global economy.

"It is for our own good because it will bolster the Swiss position within the IMF," said Dick Marty.

Other senators expressed concerns during Wednesday's debate about the lack of financial support by the IMF for developing countries to help them through the global crisis.

Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz stressed that the loan offered Switzerland opportunities and that the financial risk was very limited.

The other parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives, will discuss the issue later this year.

The IMF decided to raise a total of $250 billion to provide the necessary funds for the world economy to overcome the impact of the crisis.

Switzerland which joined the organisation in 1992, represents a group of eight countries from eastern Europe and central Asia. It has a seat in the executive committee of the IMF.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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