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Switzerland withdraws longstanding application to join EU

Submitted by: Odio @ 06:37 AM | Thursday, June 16, 2016 | (url:

The upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum.
Twenty-seven members of the upper house, the Council of States, voted to cancel Switzerlands longstanding EU application, versus just 13 senators against. Two abstained.

In the aftermath of the vote, Switzerland will give formal notice to the EU to consider its application withdrawn, the countrys foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, was quoted as saying by Neue Zrcher Zeitung.

The original motion was introduced by the conservative Swiss Peoples Party MP, Lukas Reimann. It had already received overwhelming support from legislators in the lower house of parliament in March, with 126 National Council deputies voting in favor, and 46 against.

Thomas Minder, counsellor for the state of Schaffhausen and an active promoter of the concept of Swissness, said he was eager to close the topic fast and painlessly as only a few lunatics may want to join the EU now, he told the newspaper.

Hannes Germann, also representing Schaffhausen, highlighted the symbolic importance of the vote, comparing it to Icelands decision to drop its membership bid in 2015.

Iceland had the courage and withdrew the application for membership, so no volcano erupted, he said, jokingly.

Switzerlands longstanding application to join the EU has not had a significant impact on the countrys politics for more than 20 years, as its accession negotiations have been suspended since 1992 in the wake of a referendum to join the European Economic Area, when the Swiss voted down the idea of closer ties with the EU.

Some politicians even argued that the vote was an unnecessary formal procedure that didnt make much sense as Switzerland is no longer regarded by the EU as an official candidate to join the bloc.

Category: Politics | 2 Comments
Tags: europe

European parliament set to call for break-up of Google in antitrust case

Submitted by: Hologram @ 10:35 AM | Saturday, November 22, 2014 | (url: http://www.thegua...)

The European parliament is reportedly poised to call for a break-up of Google in a drastic escalation of Europes long-running antitrust case against the tech giant.

A draft motion seen by the Financial Times, and expected to be agreed next week, calls for the unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services as a potential solution to Googles dominance of the search market in Europe.

The European Commission has been investigating concerns that Google has abused its dominant position in search since 2010 and the dispute has become increasingly bitter. In September the EUs incoming digital commissioner Gnther Oettinger warned that any settlement with Google could cement its strength in the market rather than diluting it.

German, French and Spanish politicians have attacked the company over a variety of issues including revelations from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and right to be forgotten legislation that allows people to delete information from search results.


Submitted by: [57th]cneal @ 10:34 PM | Monday, February 11, 2008 | (url:

Billions of protesters around the world gather at Scientology landmarks to voice their concerns on the so called church.

PS3 drives Blu-ray to 64% market share in Europe

Submitted by: houston @ 03:35 PM | Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | (url: http://www.blu-ra...)

In Europe for the past several weeks, blu-ray has sold 3:1 to HD-DVD, driving blu-ray to 64% market share. This officially puts them on top in all 3 major markets. Blu-ray has long led the US market and also has 96% market share in Japan. So long HD-DVD.

PS3 launch fails across the pond

Submitted by: DudeofDeath @ 09:27 AM | Friday, March 23, 2007 | (url:

Last night was the midnight launch of the PlayStation 3 for our overseas brethren in Europe and Australia, and the crowds that turned out were dismal, to say the least.

Apparently one tenth of the people expected to be there actually showed up, and Sony was left with literal barges full of their newest console, in many locations. To add insult to injury, Microsoft puts a big XBox 360 banner on a ferry passing by one of the big French launch sites...

Crippled PS3s for Everyone: Investors Pleased, Power GamersNot So Much

Submitted by: Hologram @ 01:51 AM | Friday, March 9, 2007 | (url: http://gigagamez....)

That s right, the crippled PS3s that are invading Europe on March 23 will soon be the worldwide standard...