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EU humiliated as Swiss overwhelmingly reject joining Brussels bloc – bombshell poll

The latest research deals a blow to EU bosses who are keen to bring the land-locked European nation into the fold. A survey showed 64 percent of Swiss participants are against joining the bloc while 58 percent backed their government’s decision to break off talks with Brussels in May.

Just one in five of those surveyed opposed politicians’ decision to end the talks.

The Swiss walked out on seven-year negotiations claiming the terms of the deal tabled by the EU were simply unacceptable.

Ignazio Cassis, the country’s foreign minister, said the requests made by him and his colleagues were “not met”.

Brussels responded with a warning, saying Switzerland risks losing its “privileged access” to the bloc’s markets.

The non-member state is the bloc’s fourth-largest trading partner and its economy is closely integrated with the 27 countries that are part of the EU.

Citizens in Switzerland and throughout the bloc enjoy a mutual right to free movement.

Two months after negotiations crumbled, a poll shows Switzerland’s population is not keen on the idea of becoming the 28th member state.

Just four in 10 of those surveyed said they would like to see fresh discussions on joining kick-started between Bern and the EU, according to a poll carried out by research institute Marketagent.com.

READ MORE: Brussels shamed after threatening Switzerland’s electricity

The EU serves as the largest trading partner for the Swiss, with its exports making up 5.2 percent of the bloc’s imports.

Goods sent to member states are mainly chemicals, medicines, machinery and timepieces.

The Swiss are famed for their watch-making skills and the globe’s largest manufacturer, the Swatch Group, is based in the town of Bienne.

The survey comes just weeks after Brussels threatened to kick Switzerland out of the European electricity market as relations continued to sour.

With no deal to join the bloc insight, the Swiss will not be able to participate in the bloc’s so-called power-market coupling.

As a result, large-scale power outages remain a real but minor risk in the Alpine country.

Switzerland plays a key role in the EU’s electricity scheme through the clean energy it produces and the power that passes through its borders.

More than 1,000 people in German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland took part in the survey.

It was carried out between June 11 and 18.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Spain beat Swiss 3-1 on penalties to reach Euro 2020 semi-finals

After a 1-1 draw, Unai Simon made two saves in a shootout to keep Spain’s bid for a record fourth European crown alive.

Goalkeeper Unai Simon saved two penalties as Spain beat 10-man Switzerland 3-1 in a shoot-out to secure a place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

After a 1-1 draw on Friday in St Petersburg that saw the Swiss play for 43 minutes a man down, Simon made two saves in the shootout to help keep Spain’s bid for a record fourth European crown alive.

It was heartbreak for Switzerland, who were bidding for reaching the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history.

Spain forged ahead early on when Denis Zakaria put through his own net, but Switzerland were the better side for long periods and Xherdan Shaqiri, standing in for the suspended Granit Xhaka as captain, equalised in the 68th minute.

The Swiss were reduced to 10 men with 13 minutes remaining, though, when midfielder Remo Freuler was controversially dismissed for a tackle on Gerard Moreno.

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the hero of the penalty shootout win over world champions France in the last 16, made a string of fine saves in extra time.

But Simon saved from Fabian Schaer and Manuel Akanji, while Ruben Vargas blazed over in a tense finale as Spain snuck through, with Mikel Oyarzabal smashing home the winning spot-kick.

Spain move into a Tuesday semi-final at Wembley against Belgium or Italy.

Spain’s forward Mikel Oiarzabal celebrates with goalkeeper Unai Simon after winning the penalty shootout [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]

After scoring 10 goals in their previous two matches, this was a return to the type of profligate performances that saw Spain draw their first two group games against Sweden and Poland.

But the 2008 and 2012 winners made a dream start to this quarter-final, taking the lead in fortunate circumstances in only the eighth minute.

A corner was cleared only as far as Jordi Alba, whose left-footed volley was diverted past Sommer by Switzerland midfielder Zakaria, only playing in place of Xhaka.

It was the 10th own goal of Euro 2020, more than the other 15 editions combined.

Alvaro Morata wasted an excellent opportunity by heading too close to Sommer when unmarked, but then Switzerland started to grow into the game.

Silvan Widmer headed off target from a corner, before Steven Zuber thought he had won a penalty only to be flagged offside.

Spain coach Luis Enrique sent on Dani Olmo for Pablo Sarabia at half-time and the RB Leipzig man threatened inside 60 seconds, seeing his low volley well held by Sommer.

Zakaria came agonisingly close to making up for his earlier own goal when his header span narrowly wide.

Switzerland had an even better chance for a leveller in the 64th minute, as Shaqiri sparked a quick counter-attack that ended with Spain goalkeeper Simon reacting well to keep out Zuber’s stabbed effort at his near post.

Switzerland’s midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right) fights for the ball with Spain’s defender Cesar Azpilicueta [Dmitri Lovetsky/AFP]

Shaqiri strikes

But the underdogs found the equaliser they deserved four minutes later, as Freuler latched onto a loose ball after a mix-up in the Spanish defence and squared for Shaqiri to slot into the far corner and score his third goal of the tournament.

The pattern of the game changed in the 77th minute though, when referee Michael Oliver gave Freuler his marching orders for a sliding challenge on Spanish substitute Moreno.

Switzerland managed to keep Spain at bay until the end of normal time with relative ease, but in the third minute of the additional half an hour Moreno should have put Spain back in front, only to miskick Alba’s cross wide from close range.

Switzerland were perhaps lucky not to have another man sent off shortly afterwards, when Widmer escaped a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Olmo.

Moreno somehow passed up another golden opportunity, denied at point-blank range by Sommer, before the Borussia Moenchengladbach stopper made an excellent diving save from Oyarzabal.

Sommer made eight saves in extra time alone, but his one in the shootout from Rodri was not enough, despite Sergio Busquets also hitting the post, as Switzerland missed three of their four penalties.

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The Swiss government said there remained “substantial differences” between the two sides on “key aspects of the agreement”. As a result, they decided to abandon the deal, which would have pushed Switzerland further into the EU’s regulatory orbit.

Lord Hannan warned Brussels the Swiss are unlikely to back down.

He wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “The Swiss are no more likely than the British to give in to threats.

“If their current half-in-half-out deal status is no longer on offer, they will almost certainly move further out.

“And they will be right, for the best way to safeguard their prosperity is to retain the unusual political structures on which it rests.”


Swiss president Guy Parmelin (Image: GETTY)


“The Swiss are no more likely than the British to give in to threats” (Image: GETTY)

Switzerland’s trading relationship with the EU is governed by around 120 individual treaties.

However, Brussels has been determined to pull the country closer into its regulatory sphere.

Speaking to Lord Hannan, a Swiss MP said: “It was exactly what they tried to do to you during the Brexit talks.

“They basically wanted us to be non-voting members, following all their rules without a say. Boris said no to them and so have we.”

READ MORE: Hope Nick Clegg is listening! EU army to send military troops on mission ‘within months’


Switzerland has pulled out of a news framework agreement with the EU (Image: GETTY)

The EU demanded Switzerland embrace full freedom of movement with the bloc as part of the deal.

This would allow EU national to live in Switzerland, and access its social services, even if they don’t have a job.

The move was resisted by the Swiss with Ignazio Cassis, the country’s foreign minister, saying their demands were “not met” by Brussels.

Lord Hannan warned the EU are likely to turn on Switzerland following the rejection.


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Switzerland held a national referendum on immigration in 2020 (Image: GETTY)


Britain formally left the EU in January 2020 (Image: GETTY)

He commented: “Few expect the EU to let things lie.

“Just as it did during the Brexit talks, it will seek to tighten the screw, excluding Switzerland from common deals on pharmaceuticals, research, financial services and more.

“The fact that it cannot do these things without damaging its own economy is of no concern.

“For Brussels functionaries, European unity is an end in itself, not a means to a better life.”


The Daily Express campaigned passionately for Brexit (Image: EXPRESS )

As a result of the Swiss decision the country’s medical technology firms, which account for three percent of its GDP, will no longer be able to export to the EU duty-free.

The European Commission said: “We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years.”

Lord Hannan noted Swiss GDP is twice the EU average, and argued their rejection of the bloc has played a role in this prosperity.


The UK voted for Brexit in June 2020 (Image: GETTY)

He wrote: “The reason the Swiss did not want to join the EU is that they could see that ever-closer union was incompatible with the principles that govern their confederation, namely the dispersal of power to the cantons and the regular use of referendums.

“Those precepts have served to make them the richest and freest people in Europe.”

Britain formally left the EU in January 2020, more than three years after voting for Brexit.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Destroy EU agenda! Britain told to team up with Swiss to halt 'petty' Brussels bullies

And Jayne Adye has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson he must join forces with Bern to thwart the bloc’s expansionist agenda – and expose its “fragility”. Years of talks aimed at binding Switzerland more closely to the European Union‘s single market collapsed on Wednesday, when the Swiss government ditched a draft 2018 treaty that would have cemented ties with its biggest trading partner.

Faced with fierce opposition to the pact domestically, the Swiss Cabinet said it would break off talks and seek an alternative way forward.

Ms Adye told Express.co.uk: “The recent discussions between the EU and Switzerland have a very familiar feeling to all those who have been involved in Brexit negotiations.

“Just as they did with the UK, the EU is trying to force their agenda onto Switzerland, with no regard for national sovereignty.”

She added: “This is nothing new for the Swiss, and their resilience in the face of EU threats shows we have a great deal to learn from them in how to deal with Brussels for the decades to come.

“The EU bureaucrats see themselves as the dominant force in Europe, to whom all should bow down before.”

Ms Adye said: “This is a narrative the UK should work with Switzerland to destroy.

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“This brings the negotiations on the draft of the InstA (treaty) to a close.”

EU-Swiss economic ties are currently governed by more than 100 bilateral agreements stretching back to 1972, which remain in effect.

However, walking away from a deal could over time disrupt and ultimately jeopardise Switzerland’s de facto membership in the EU common market which – unlike Britain which made an unruly exit from the bloc – Bern is keen to maintain.

The failure to strike a deal means Switzerland is excluded from any new access to the single market, such as an electricity union or health cooperation.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Swiss President Guy Parmelin said: “We are opening a new chapter in our relations, hopefully a fruitful one.”

Brussels has been pushing for a decade for a treaty which would see the Swiss adopt changes to single market rules.

It would also have provided a more effective way to resolve disputes.

A statement issued by the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Without this agreement, this modernisation of our relationship will not be possible and our bilateral agreements will inevitably age.”

Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis admitted there would be disadvantages for Switzerland, but insisted erosion of the existing bilateral accords would happen slowly.

He added: “That gives us time to react with mitigation measures.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

EU bullies: No wonder 7-year Swiss negotiations ended in failure – vicious tactics exposed

Relations between Switzerland and Brussels are governed by more than 100 bilateral treaties. EU leaders had hoped to simplify this whilst further integrating Switzerland into their economic sphere.

However, Switzerland has now abandoned negotiations with Ignazio Cassis, the country’s foreign minister, saying its conditions were “not met”.

There was particular anger in Switzerland over EU demands for freedom of movement to include the non-employed.

This would entitle them to full access to the Swiss social security system.

David Bannerman, a former Tory MEP, accused Brussels of seeking to bully the Swiss on Twitter.

He commented: “If we think the EU is treating UK aggressively & unfairly, this is what it is doing to Switzerland. Same bullying pattern.

“No wonder the 7 years of negotiations between Switzerland and the EU have now led to failure.”

Mr Bannerman shared an article by Swiss Professor Carl Baudenbacher, former president of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) court, accusing Brussels of seeking to integrate Switzerland within the EU.

EFTA members, including Switzerland, participate in the European single market and accept freedom of movement.

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“Of course, the intention behind this plan was to set a “point of no return” towards EU membership.”

As a result of Switzerland’s decision, its relationship with the bloc will be downgraded to “third country” status resulting in more trade bureaucracy.

Swiss medical technology firms, which account for three percent of its GDP, will no longer be able to export duty-free to the EU.

The European Commission commented: “We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years.”

Ignazio Cassis, the Swiss foreign minister, admitted the two sides were unable to reach agreement over immigration.

He said: “For us, EU citizens moving here must have sufficient funds.

“The EU sees it differently, with the Union Citizens’ Directive it goes further than the free movement of workers.”

Switzerland held a national referendum last year on plans put forward by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party.

These would have given Swiss nationals preferential access to jobs and benefits over EU citizens.

It was defeated by 61.7 percent of the vote, with the Swiss government arguing it would damage ties with Brussels.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Former world champion snowboarder Julie Pomagalski, 40, dies after being ‘completely buried’ in avalanche in Swiss Alps

French snowboarding champion Julie Pomagalski has tragically died at the age of 40 after being buried by an avalanche on the 10,000ft-high Gemsstock mountain in the Swiss Alps, where she was submerged by a huge sheet of snow.

The celebrated athlete, who represented her country at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympic Games, had been snowboarding as part of a group of four people when an avalanche swept them away, killing two people including the French champion.

The group were set to freeride down the slope of the mountain course when they were caught under a huge sheet of snow.

The Uri canton police received the report of an avalanche in the Steintaler area in the Unteralpta,” police in the Swiss canton of Uri said in a statement.

A group of four freeriders from France was on the descent from the Gemsstock. Suddenly, a slab came loose for reasons that are still unexplained.

“As a result, three people slid down the slope with the slab. One person was slightly injured and was flown to Uri Cantonal Hospital by Rega.”

The French Olympic team confirmed the death of their colleague, expressing condolences to Pomagalski’s family.

The tragic death of Julie… leaves the French Olympic team in mourning,” they said.

In 1999, Pomagalski won the world championships in snowboard cross, adding a silver in the parallel giant slalom event at the 2003 World Championships.

Police said the avalanche struck on Tuesday as the group was descending from the Gemsstock mountain. The 2,961m (10,000ft) summit is popular with off-piste skiers because of its steep slopes and powder snow.

“For reasons still unknown, a sheet of snow broke away, sweeping three of the skiers away,” officials said, who added that the pair who died were “completely buried”. The third person caught by the slab escaped with minor injuries.
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Roger Federer changes comeback plans as Swiss pulls out of Dubai after Qatar Open issue

Roger Federer has confirmed that he has decided to pull out of the Dubai Tennis Championships following his defeat to Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Qatar Open, in order to prioritise his recovery. The Swiss legend made his return to the court for the first time since the Australian Open in January 2020 following a hefty lay-off after knee surgery.
Federer edged Brit Dan Evans in the Round of 16 before his Georgian opponent rained on his parade yesterday, coming from behind to beat Federer 3-6 6-1 7-5.

Before the venture, which Federer described as a “stepping stone”, the 20-time Grand Slam champion outlined his hopes of competing at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics.

In order to achieve that, there is an understanding that Federer may have to sit out other parts of the ATP Tour, including Dubai.

Federer confirmed on Twitter that he’s decided to withdraw, in order to look after his own condition.

He said: “It’s been great to be back on the @atptour, loved every minute playing in Doha once again. A big thank you to the best and loyal team that helped me get here.

“I’ve decided it’s best to go back to training and as a result, I’ve decided to withdraw from Dubai next week.”

The 39-year-old also admitted after his defeat to Basilashvili that he was experiencing shoulder pain, after playing back-to-back days in Doha.

“The whole shoulder has muscle pain, but that comes I think with the pressure,” Federer said. “When you’ve got your back against the wall, you’ve got to crank one out. Overall the body is actually fine. I’m happy — it could be much worse.”

It’s not the first time this season that Federer has decided to pull out of a competition, having also withdrawn from the Miami Open.

Federer has already hinted that he will feature at the French Open where Rafael Nadal could win his 14th title, which could prove to be a record-breaking 21st major.

“What comes before the grass courts are the clay courts,” Federer said. “So from that standpoint, I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play matches.

“It could be good for me, the clay. It could be bad for me, the clay. So I will only know in practice, but I don’t think it’s going to be bad, to be honest.”

Federer was not afraid to admit that he wasn’t too disheartened by his elimination in Qatar, given that he wanted to ease his way back into action.

Speaking to reporters after the loss, Federer said he was “already over it” and labelled the experience regarding his return as “positive”.

The seasoned veteran was able to get back-to-back three-set matches under his belt in his bid to regain full fitness.

In today’s semi-finals in Doha, Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Andrey Rublev after beating Dominic Thiem yesterday while American Taylor Fritz looks to edge Basilashvili.

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“When I see the wall of champions, it’s great moments. Especially when I see that Roger won that year as well,” Bencic said.

“I mean it’s exciting for everyone.

“We were all counting the days (to his return). I thought he was playing today and then I was like, ‘Oh no!’ One more day we have to wait.

“He is coming back on my birthday (Wednesday).

“I wish him the best of luck. We are in contact sometimes and he is helping me a lot with some tips, things I need, and wishing me luck. I do the same.”

Roger Federer learns Qatar Open draw as Swiss has Dominic Thiem final to aim for in Doha

Roger Federer returns to the ATP Tour for the first time in over 12 months next week at the Qatar Open, and has learned his projected draw in Doha, with a potential showdown with top seed Dominic Thiem on the line in the final if he can return in strong form.
Federer has not played competitively since the semi-finals of the 2020 Australian Open and had two knee surgeries last year that forced him to sit out the rest of the season after Melbourne.

But he will make his long-awaited return to the court in the Middle East as he looks to build up his fitness for the French Open.

And the 103-time ATP Tour titlist has now learned that he will take on either Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or British No 1 Dan Evans in his first match back.

The 39-year-old has been given a bye into the second round and will have to wait to find out who he faces of the duo until they go head-to-head in round one.

Should he get past either world No 64 Chardy or No 28-ranked Evans, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is expected to take on Croatian Borna Coric.

Denis Shapovalov, the world No 11, is then the potential semi-final opponent with Federer having only played the Canadian once before.

If Federer, who is ranked fifth in the world, makes the final in Doha then he is likely to face off with Thiem, the man one place ahead of him in the rankings.

The Austrian world No 4, winner of the US Open last year, boasts a 5-2 career record against Federer, who is 26-3 in Doha, and has won all of their past three meetings.

Speaking after arriving in Qatar on Friday night, the second-seeded Swiss icon said: “It’s been a year since my last travel to any event and I’m very excited.

“This is the moment where I could maybe thank all the people involved who made this possible. It’s been a long and hard road.

“I know I’m not at the finish line yet, but it’s good. I feel like I’m in a good place, I’ve been practising very well.

“Hope you guys also are going to tune in to watch it and I hope I see you again very soon. Take care everybody.”

Federer is a three-time Qatar Open winner but has not been victorious since 2011, with Andrey Rublev the reigning champion of the ATP 250 event, which began in 1993.

The Russian defeated Andy Murray this week at the Rotterdam Open, which Federer won back in 2018.

Others who will play at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex include Roberto Bautista Agut, who won the tournament in 2019, and Stan Wawrinka.

The players at the Qatar Open are competing for a prize of around £570,000 and 250 ranking points.

Roger Federer’s projected Doha draw

Round One: Bye

Round Two: Dan Evans/Jeremy Chardy

Quarter-final: Borna Coric

Semi-final: Denis Shapovalov/David Goffin

Final: Dominic Thiem/Andrey Rublev