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Economics Minister Couchepin

Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin was re-elected to the cabinet by a joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin was re-elected to the cabinet by a joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

He was confirmed with 124 votes in the 245-seat parliament.

The vote is part of a traditional re-election procedure, which follows parliamentary elections. Those were held in October and showed the Swiss People’s Party gaining the most seats in the House of Representatives.

Brief profile:

Pascal Couchepin: Elected to cabinet in 1998. Radical Party member and Economics Minister. Vociferous free-market advocate who regularly clashes with Dreifuss over welfare costs. His trial balloons on privatising the federal railways and schools as well as his call for abolishing the federal ombudsman for consumer complaints caused an uproar. His initial popularity as the “strong man of the Swiss economy” has suffered recently, not least because of a wave of Swiss job cuts widely blamed on rampant globalisation.

From staff and wire reports.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR