Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

"This situation has not harmed the cohesion between the cultures in the country"

In an interview with "Schaffhauser Nachrichten", Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis talks about how Switzerland is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the difficult path back to normality. He also said that various foreign policy issues needed to be assessed.

A portrait picture of Federal Councillor Cassis with a graphic motif referring to an interview.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis comments on aspects of the COVID-19 crisis in an interview. © FDFA

Even if the various parts of Switzerland were affected differently by the effects of the coronavirus, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis does not see any threat to cohesion in Switzerland: "This situation has not harmed the cohesion between the cultures in the country," he says in the interview. There was also always agreement within the Federal Council on the measures to be taken. Not only did they never have to vote - "I think the crisis has made us even more united," says the head of the FDFA. It was also right to grant the canton of Ticino a special regulation for pandemic management. 

With regard to the easing of restrictions in Switzerland, he said there was a conflict of priorities: "Of course it would be the best if we could immediately make up for the lost economic performance. However, there is too great a risk that the curve of infections will rise again". The Federal Council has therefore opted for a staged approach, in which we move forward one stage at a time and observe the effects.

The return to normality is also the first priority for other countries. Only then will existing issues be taken up again, such as the institutional agreement with the EU. "When the crisis is over, we will have to review our position with the EU," said Federal Councillor Cassis. Other foreign policy issues must also be examined in the light of "normality 2.0", he said in the interview.

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