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Far-right party seeks to limit development aid

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10:27 CEST+02:00

The far-right Swiss People's Party wants to launch an initiative to limit the amount of development aid paid out to poorer countries.

 

The president of the Swiss People’s Party, Toni Brunner, expressed regret at the government's decision to increase development aid in an interview with newspaper SonntagsBlick.

The National Council has already approved a budget from 2013 to 2016 of 11.35 billion francs ($11.62 billion). This means that by 2015, 0.5 percent of Switzerland’s GDP would be spent on aid.

This figure is nevertheless below that proposed by a petition in 2008, when 200,000 people said Switzerland should dedicate 0.7 percent of its GDP to development aid.

“A level of 0.7 percent would not pass in parliament,” Jacques Neirynck from the Christian Democratic Party told newspaper Tribune de Genève reported.

Brunner would prefer to set a constitutional percentage limit on the amount of aid set aside by Switzerland, as well as a sum that should not be exceeded. The party has not yet proposed any exact figures.

Another SVP idea, rejected by parliament, was to link the amount of aid given to a particular country to the level of cooperation received from that country in dealing with returned asylum seekers.

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