Swiss economy in good shape, says Villiger

The finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, has given an upbeat report on the present state of the Swiss economy at a Radical Party conference in Basel.

This content was published on January 22, 2000 - 16:37

The finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, has given an upbeat report on the present state of the Swiss economy at a Radical Party conference in Basel.

"Our country is doing better than we think," he said. Overall, conditions in the country "are good", but there remains a lot to be done. Villiger explained to the delegates that progress was dependent on a "magic triangle" of healthy finances, a low budget deficit, and efficient public services and utilities.

Echoing his party and cabinet collegue, Pascal Couchepin, Villiger said he believed closer ties with the European Union should be sought "quickly". "We must accept and apply the bilateral accords", he said.

At the same meeting economics minister Couchepin, described the crises which affected plans for the Expo.02 national exhibition as a necessity. He said that as a result of problems during 1999, realistic budgets for the project had finally been established.

He stated that it would have been wrong to be carried away by a wave of "uncritical enthusiasm" for the plan. Couchepin added that he personally had hoped such problems would occur.

From staff and wire reports

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