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Swiss finance minister becomes YouTube sensation over meat import speech

October 5, 2013

banking

Hans-Rudolf Merz – Switzerland’s finance minister to the uninitiated – has managed to become an internet hit after footage of him cracking up with laughter during a parliamentary speech on spiced meat imports gained over 300,000 views on YouTube.
The 67-year-old, who had never received much international acclaim prior to the speech, was so tickled by the term “Bundnerfleisch” – which is an air-dried beef product – that he was unable to contain himself, subsequently leading to fits of giggles from the rest of his parliamentary colleagues.
Merz has never been an altogether popular figure in his homeland, and has been subject to plenty of criticism in Switzerland over some of his domestic policies and failing to secure the release of two Swiss citizens that were being held in Libya. They also didn’t like it when he signed away much of Switzerland’s banking secrecy. However, the whole YouTube affair seems to have really turned things round for him, with some hoping that he’ll take up a career in comedy after he retires as finance minister, which, funnily enough, is actually next month. The speech has led to a bit of a “feel-good factor” in the Swiss meat trade, with one company now advertising their products with the slogan: “Never lose your sense of humour.”
Despite the fact that most viewers of the video cannot speak Swiss and thus, have absolutely no idea what he is saying, Merz seems to have captured the imaginations of viewers in all countries, with one saying: “I don’t understand anything, but it’s always funny,” whilst another added: “I just love him.”
Rumours that had Alistair Darling adopted a similar protocol when delivering his final budget earlier this year then the outcome of the General Election may have been drastically different have surfaced, but are not necessarily substantiated.

Here’s the video…

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