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People's Party refuses to apologise to Social Democrats

The right-wing Swiss People's Party has refused to apologise to the Social Democrats for controversial remarks made by the populist Christoph Blocher. The party president, Ueli Maurer (pictured), said he would not bow to Social Democrat pressure.

This content was published on March 12, 2000 - 21:51

The right-wing Swiss People's Party has refused to apologise to the Social Democrats for controversial remarks made by the populist Christoph Blocher.

In a widely distributed leaflet, Blocher accused the Social Democrats of being much closer to facism on a political level than his own party. In response, the Social Democrats demanded an apology.

They added that if the People's Party did not apologise and withdraw the remarks by Monday (March 13), they would boycott the regular talks between the four main parties and the cabinet.

However, the party president, Ueli Maurer (pictured)insisted on Sunday that there would be no retraction. The People's Party, he said, would not "dance to the tune" of the Social Democratic leader, Ursula Koch.

Meanwhile Christoph Blocher remains unrepentant. In an interview with the German language weekly "Sonntagsblick", he said simply,"Apologise? I don't see why".

swissinfo with agencies

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