Switzerland and Norway: Similar nations brace for a eurozone crisisThursday, 13 October, 2011
The eurozone debt crisis is worrying countries around the world. Swiss officials have reportedly set up a task force to deal with the ramifications. One controversial move saw the Swiss National Bank tie the franc to the euro, capping its value at 1.20 francs to 1 euro. So as investors seek a safe haven for cash, will they flock to other Swiss-like states?
Norway, for instance, is very similar to Switzerland. In fact, the Norwegian krone has seen big gains on the euro. Both countries also have a stable economy, low unemployment and a strong currency. And, more concerning, both countries also rely on the eurozone for export sales and tourism. Alex Helmick talks to Norwegian Ambassador to Switzerland Rolf Trolle Andersen about what lessons can be shared between the two countries:
Decision time—what next for Switzerland and the EU?Tuesday, 27 July, 2010
Europe is getting tired of Switzerland thinking it’s a special case. That was the message Doris Leuthard took away from Brussels last week after tough talks about the future of Switzerland’s 20 major bilateral agreements and around 100 secondary accords. On August 18, the Swiss government will publish a keenly awaited report on the status of European integration and whether bilateral accords have a future.
The debate is exactly what opponents of closer ties with Europe have been looking for. Over the weekend the former Swiss People’s Party president Cristophe Blocher floated the idea of an initiative to ban EU membership. WRS’s Conor Lennon speaks with the party’s Ulrich Schluer for that perspective, but first we hear from Christa Markwalder, a liberal MP and president of NOMES, the New Movement European Switzerland. WRS’s Pete Forster asked her what she made of Mr Blocher’s suggestion: