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Defence minister suffers setback over armament

The House of Representatives has rejected next year's armament programme worth SFr917 million ($844 million) for the army.

This content was published on September 24, 2008 - 10:33

The decision is seen as another blow for the embattled defence minister, Samuel Schmid. But the issue is not dead: the Senate – the other parliamentary chamber – has to vote on it again in December.

The rightwing Swiss People's Party and centre-left groups, including the Greens and the Social Democrats, opposed the use of funds to upgrade fighter aircraft and acquire transport vehicles.

The centre-right Radicals and Christian Democrats voted for the financial package.

Defence Minister Schmid is under pressure both over reforms of the armed forces and personnel decisions.

He is also at odds with his People's Party and joined a breakaway political group earlier this year.

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