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Swiss oppose military strike to counter terrorist attacks in US

87 per cent of the Swiss oppose military strikes by the United States


An overwhelming majority of Swiss people oppose a retaliatory military strike to counter last week's terrorist attacks in the United States. A survey shows that most people instead want the perpetrators handed over to a court to stand trial.

At a news conference in Bern on Friday, representatives of the Swiss-based research institute, Gallup International said a new poll shows that 87 per cent of the Swiss oppose military strikes by the United States. Only eight per cent of the Swiss who responded to the poll favoured military strikes.

According to the survey, 65 per cent of the Swiss people also are against Switzerland providing any active military support to the US. The rate is lower than in Austria and Finland, which are also neutral countries.

People in most Nato member countries, however, favoured active military support of the US.

The opposition to military strikes by the US is in line with poll results in other countries, Gallup said. Only in the US and Israel do people appear to consider military strikes the appropriate response.

Economic concerns

Public opinion in Switzerland appears to be split over whether the events in the US would negatively impact the economy. With 46 percent the pessimists are slightly ahead the optimists.

Women tended to be more pessimistic, as did people in regions with higher unemployment rates in Switzerland, according to the poll.

Most of the Swiss questioned said they first heard about the terrorist attack from other people. Worldwide the main source of information was radio and television. Less than two per cent of the population gave the Internet as a first source.

The survey was carried out in 31 countries across the world by the Zurich-based institute. In Switzerland the poll was carried out by the company; Isopublic.

The pollsters questioned 649 people over the telephone in the German- and French-speaking part of the country.

swissinfo with agencies


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