Saturday, April 1, 2023

Biting inhibitions among Berset’s critics

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Alain Berset’s former head of communications Peter Lauener (right) is said to have been in intensive email contact with Ringier CEO Marc Walder.

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Peter AeschlimannFederal house editor Sunday view

The year has barely begun when the air in the Federal Council chambers is already thick. Right in the middle: Alain Berset (50, SP), newly elected Federal President. Team building would be appropriate, because the state government has long been considered a dysfunctional body. Thanks to the two newcomers, the opportunity even seemed good. But the hoped-for restart turned into a false start: “This is how Berset’s department fed the eye,” was just one of the headlines.

At the meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of the Interior now has to ask uncomfortable questions. Did he know of a “dedicated line” that his former head of communications Peter Lauener (53) is said to have maintained with Marc Walder (57), the CEO of Ringier Verlag? And: Was confidential information about Covid measures systematically passed on to the press in order to put pressure on the entire Federal Council? “We’ll probably talk about that in the Federal Council,” said Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis (61, FDP) at the WEF in Davos GR.

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