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Defence minister threatens to switch departments

Ueli Maurer – the cabinet minister for defence, civil protection and sport – has said he may change departments if military funding is not increased.

The defence minister told the German-language SonntagsZeitung he cannot be responsible for the Swiss army and its soldiers without an adequate budget for training and equipment.

The next opportunity to switch departments would be September 22, but Maurer said he needed more time to think about the move. It could take a year to thoroughly discuss the situation of the army and to consider other means of financing it.

“We could re-define deficit limits and set aside money for new fighter jets on top of the budget,” Maurer suggested. On Wednesday, the government decided to postpone the replacement of the army’s Tiger jets, some of which are over 30 years old.

Maurer said that the safety of Switzerland should be important enough to merit a decent budget. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR