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MP under fire over booze and drugs hospitalization

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MP under fire over booze and drugs hospitalization
Neuchâtel federal MP Yvan Perrin. Photo: Swiss Parliament
12:14 CET+01:00
Questions are being raised about the state of health of a prominent Swiss People's Party (SVP) politician seeking election as a cabinet minister in the Neuchâtel cantonal government.

Yvan Perrin, a federal MP and former policeman, was sent to a hospital emergency ward shortly after consuming large amounts of alcohol and depressants, Le Matin reported on Wednesday.

Perrin has stated that he went to the hospital following an anxiety attack in which feared a return of the “burnout” from which he suffered in 2010.

“I panicked and I wanted to go to immediately check my health at the hospital,” he told the media, adding that subsequent tests showed “no particular illness”.

But Le Matin reported that Perrin, in fact, had been shut up in his home for four days following the end of the parliamentary session in Bern in mid-December before he was admitted to the hospital on December 19th.

The newspaper reported that his female cousin found him “exhausted” in his bed with “bottles of alcohol littering the floor, amidst packages of powerful drugs”.

He was unable to speak coherently, so his cousin called an ambulance, Le Matin said.

The newspaper reported that he showed a blood alcohol rate of 3.0, six times the legal limit for driving, and suffered from acute dehydration.

The cousin noted that he had missed various appointments in the previous days.

Perrin refused to comment to Le Matin, which published an editorial calling on the politician to admit that he is ill.

However, in an interview with Neuchâtel newspapers L’Express and L’Impartial the politician raised questions about the information published by Le Matin, noting that it was in part based on a hospital admission form.

He said that he left the hospital after 24 hours and that he ate a midday meal there with a good appetite.

Perrin minimized the fact he was inclined to drink alcohol.

“I never drank enough to have to see a doctor,” he told the Neuchâtel newspapers.

Earlier this month, the SVP politician was indirectly involved in a scandal at a Neuchâtel centre for asylum seekers.

Perrin is deputy director of NSA Sécurité, a company hired by the government to provide security at the centre.

Five of the company’s guards have been accused, along with three other government employees, of having sex with refugees and extorting money from them in a case that remains under investigation.

Because of the investigation, Perrin has declined to comment on the case.

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