Switzerland should contribute to EU bailouts: Austria
Non-EU countries like Switzerland, who nevertheless have close ties with the bloc, should also chip into financial rescue packages, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann urged Saturday.
"Other countries who do not belong to the eurozone could also contribute, so that when it comes to rescuing banks, rescuing financial markets, etc... we also get something out of them," Faymann told Austrian radio ORF in an interview.
As a non-EU member with many of the same privileges as members of the bloc, Switzerland "can afford to pick and choose" where it wants to be involved, the chancellor noted.
"It is undeniable that Switzerland tries to get all the benefits it can."
"But if it costs something or it could turn out to be negative, they quickly put up a wall," he said.
The comments came after a senior politician of Faymann's Social Democratic party slammed Switzerland in a rare outburst Thursday.
"These Swiss freeloaders are getting on my nerves," Josef Cap told the Austrian daily Kurier.
"They have illegal earnings from Greece and the rest of Europe in their banks and in that sense are depriving other states of their money."
"The EU should call for Switzerland to contribute to stabilising the euro," he added.
The European Union agreed a 750-billion-euro (938-billion-dollar) rescue package last weekend with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to shore up weak eurozone economies.
The EU and IMF also approved earlier this month a 110-billion-euro aid package for debt-stricken Greece over three years.
© 2010 AFP