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WTO extension passes vote hurdle

Geneva residents have approved an extension project at World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in a city-wide vote.

This content was published on September 27, 2009 - 17:01

A 61 per cent majority backed the plans, which are part of the WTO's SFr130 million ($126 million) renovations.

Leftwing politicians who had initiated Sunday's vote said the project would damage the city's lakeside promenade.

But supporters said a rejection of the plans would send out the wrong signal to the many international organisations that call the city home and could force the WTO to move elsewhere.

The extension would be built on the WTO's current parking lot and allow the WTO to move all its staff to its headquarters overlooking Lake Geneva. It would make room for another 300 employees, on top of the 800 currently based there.

The project still needs the approval of the cantonal authorities.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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