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Switzerland's Alpine Transport Alternative

The economic report ``Swiss put up another border,'' Feb. 23, states: ``Swiss voters voted to phase out within 10 years all foreign trucks using Switzerland's Alpine roads to get to another country.''

However, the report does not mention that Switzerland is offering instead an efficient railway system that would take trucks or containers through the Alps in a clean way, or that the Swiss are paying for the construction of additional large tunnels (one will be longer than the underwater one between France and England) through the Alps to enable this transit.

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In Europe the railway systems are very well developed and should be the logical transport system for long distances, while trucks are good for final distribution.

The report also states: ``The Swiss referendum was careful to exempt Swiss trucks carrying the country's imports and exports.'' But these will not be unaffected, and our prescriptions are getting tougher.

Sooner or later, all countries having parts of the Alps within their borders will follow Switzerland, which should be complemented rather than scorned for taking this stand. We Swiss are trying to defend our right to make our own decisions and to protect our health and environment.

If the European Union makes the same mistakes the former Soviet Union made by pressing each country to specialize in one product, making them all interdependent, it would render the countries most vulnerable if it ever disbanded. A majority of Swiss do not want to join the EU. L. Ammann-Irminger, Bergdietikon, Switz.

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