New economy stimulus plan necessary: minister

5th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss Foreign Minister says an additional aid package is essential to help stimulate the country’s economy.

GENEVA – Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said last Sunday new measures were necessary to stimulate the country's economy which has been forecast to plunge into recession in 2009.

"I believe that it is necessary to have an additional economy programme with further measures that can have rapid impact," she told Swiss Sunday newspaper SonntagsZeitung on 28 December 2008.

The economics ministry had earlier projected that the economy here would shrink by 0.8 percent in 2009, with a recovery not seen until 2010.

The Swiss government in mid-October announced an aid package worth almost USD 60 billion (CHF 64.8 billion) to restore confidence in the country's biggest bank UBS which has lost billions on the United States home loan crisis and the ensuing financial turmoil.

A second aid package being prepared would target the construction industry as well as the export industry.

Calmy-Rey said however that a further package was necessary.

"There is a danger that planned economic measures are insufficient," she said.

Asked for possible new measures, she pointed to suggestions put forward by parliamentarians for the government to return a CHF 4.6-billion-budget surplus to residents through increased social spending and through a waiver of health insurance charges for children.

"Several ideas that have been put forward make sense, especially those that are targeted at stimulating our domestic economy," she said.

[AFP / Expatica]

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