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BERN : An End Of Neutrality?

THE WEEK AHEAD

December 01, 1992

Swiss voters decide on Sunday whether they want to break with a policy of neutrality dating from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and join the 19-nation European Economic Area, a new trade organization seen as a first step for joining the European Community as a full-fledged member. Such a move could eventually force the mountain confederation of 26 semiautonomous cantons to give up its status as a tax haven. The proposed European Economic Area would be composed of the 12 existing EC nations and the seven members of the European Free Trade Association that includes Switzerland.

Analysts see it as a close vote between younger Swiss, most of whom favor joining the EC, and isolationist old-timers.

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