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EU suspends Swiss Erasmus participation for 2014

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EU suspends Swiss Erasmus participation for 2014
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Swiss students will not be able to participate in the EU’s Erasmus Plus exchange programme this September.

The decision comes after voters in Switzerland decided in a referendum to re-introduce quotes for EU immigrants.

Brussels had warned of consequences for Swiss-EU relations if they reneged on an earlier free movement deal.

“In 2014, Switzerland will not participate in Erasmus Plus on equal footing with member states as initially envisaged,” said EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor.

“I want to make very clear that this freeze of negotiations is not a punishment or sanctions of the expression of the swiss electorate but a logical consequence of the choice Switzerland itself has made, the consequence which is really well known before.”

Erasmus Plus is an EU learning programme that focuses on education, training, youth and sport.

Commissioner Andor’s remarks were briefly interrupted by a protesting MEP,Mario Borghezio, from Italy’s Northern League.

The nationalist parliamentarian attacked the EU, branding it “a European dictatorship”.