X Close


Published: Tuesday February 18, 2014 MYT 7:10:01 PM
Updated: Tuesday February 18, 2014 MYT 7:11:07 PM

Merkel says Swiss challenge is to stay close to EU after vote

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she regretted the results of a Swiss referendum in favour of immigration curbs and said the challenge now was for Switzerland to implement the results while maintaining close ties to the European Union.

"I regret the decision of the vote in Switzerland but our talk was in the spirit that we respect it," Merkel said at a news conference with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.

"The challenge will now be that we deal with the results in a way that relations between the European Union and Switzerland remain as intense as possible with respect for the referendum," she added.

On February 9 Swiss voters narrowly backed proposals to curtail immigration from the EU. The vote was initiated by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which tapped into concerns that Swiss culture is being eroded by foreigners, who account for nearly a quarter of the country's population.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin and Stephen Brown; writing by Erik Kirschbaum)


  1. Tokyo-bound MAS flight turns back to KLIA 50min after departure
  2. Muktadil brothers behind Sabah kidnappings, say police
  3. PKR Congress: Ceremony for MH17 victims excessive, claims party leader
  4. No point having RM3bil if people’s welfare not taken care of, says Wan Azizah
  5. MH17: Waiting ends as some find closure amid full military honours at KLIA
  6. Oh, the pain of the children
  7. MH17 day of mourning: A minute’s silence observed at 10.55am
  8. MH17: Day of mourning photo gallery
  9. Grabbing a slice of a hot market
  10. A father’s enduring love