A leading member of Switzerland's Christian Democratic Party, Rosemarie Simmen, has been named to take over as president of the troubled federal commission on foreigners.This content was published on February 2, 2000 - 10:44
A leading member of Switzerland's Christian Democratic Party, Rosemarie Simmen, has been named to take over as president of the troubled federal commission on foreigners.
The cabinet appointed Simmen to replace Fulvio Caccia who resigned along with 14 of the commission's 29 members two weeks ago in protest at the decision by the justice minister, Ruth Metzler, to place the commission under the federal office for foreigners.
A new vice-president, Walter Schmid, has also been named. The government wanted to fill the vacant positions as soon as possible so the commission could carry out its integration work, according to a spokesman.
Simmen, who comes from canton Solothurn, ended her 12-year political career in parliament last year when she did not stand for re-election to the Senate.
The mass resignations from the commission - which deals with the integration of foreigners - were triggered by the government's move to incorporate it into a department whose remit includes running the police office for foreigners and issuing permits.
Metzler said the decision would allow all issues relating to foreigners, with the exception of asylum, to be dealt with by one office.
However, in his resignation statement, Caccia said it would be difficult to persuade foreigners, who make up one fifth of Switzerland's population, that an office which carried out police tasks would want to occupy itself with their integration.
From staff and wire reports
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