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Three government parties welcome result, but right-wing is critical

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Three of the four government parties in Switzerland have welcomed the outcome of the vote. But the fourth party, the Swiss People's Party, says it should not herald a move towards full EU membership.

The acting president of the Social Democrats, Pierre Aebi, welcomed the result, saying the government should now re-launch its plan for full membership of the European Union.

Aebi said two of the "sensitive" dossiers - free movement of people and transport - had now been resolved, and the government should press ahead with EU membership.

The two centre-right parties in government, the Radicals and the Christian Democrats, also welcomed the result.

The Radical Party president, Franz Steinegger, and the Christian Democrats' president, Adalbert Durrer, both said they were pleased by the surprisingly clear "yes" vote.

Steinegger said the issue of EU membership was not current, and the effect of the bilateral accords should first be studied. Durrer echoed the sentiment, and said he was happy the Europe issue had been resolved for the time being.

Ueli Maurer, president of the Swiss People's Party, said the "yes" vote should mean that full membership was no longer an issue. He said he did not expect the issue to be raised in the "foreseeable future."

The right-wing Swiss Democrats, one of the parties which launched the unsuccessful referendum, welcomed the rejection in canton Ticino; and they said they expected the government would not pursue its goal of full EU membership.

The approval of the accords was welcomed by Ruedi Baumann, president of the Green Party, who described the result as seven small steps towards Europe.

swissinfo with agencies

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