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Swiss-bashing hits new highs in EU: ambassador

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11:13 CEST+02:00

The Swiss ambassador to the EU has warned that the union is taking an increasingly aggressive stance against Switzerland amid deteriorating relations between Bern and some its closest allies.

Jacques de Watteville, the head of the Swiss EU mission, has warned in his latest report to the government that criticism of Switzerland has reached a new level in the EU, newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported.

The introduction of immigration restrictions against eight Eastern European countries has enabled Switzerland’s critics to become more vocal, he said.

“It gives arguments, or at least a pretext, to openly criticize us,” de Watteville said in a report submitted to the foreign ministry.

The EU is seeking to develop a more offensive strategy against Switzerland, the report says.

Customs authorities in the EU were even encouraged to find ways to exert more pressure on the country, although this idea was abandoned for fear that harm could come to the EU itself, newspaper Tribune de Genève reported.

A campaign led by France and Germany, both of which are disgruntled at Switzerland’s attempts to restrict freedom of movement for EU citizens, is resulting in a harder line being taken against Switzerland.

“In fact, the EU is hardening its position on a number of dossiers,” de Watteville said.

In particular, EU negotiators have become less flexible with regards to a deal for the liberalization of electricity markets. Uncertainty also remains as to the extent of funding to be received from the EU for forthcoming research projects.

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