Official Probe Into Swiss Ambassador’s Conduct In Bonn
BERN, Switzerland (AP) _ The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it is investigating reports that its ambassador to Bonn insulted a group of West German officials during an evening of heavy drinking.
The envoy, Albert Hohl, said he spent a ″boisterous evening″ with city officials from Bonn and from Basel, Switzerland, on a Rhine River cruise boat.
He said that in joking about Swiss relations with the big neighbor to the north, he mentioned an anti-German epithet. The West Germans did not take offense but the Basel delegation later complained to the Foreign Ministry, Hohl told The Associated Press.
He dismissed a report Wednesday by a Basel magazine, Dementi, that he insulted the German group and had to be dragged from the boat drunk.
Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Clemens Birrer said an internal inquiry was launched against Hohl after the Sept. 23 incident, in which the ambassador was ″under a certain degree of alcohol influence.″ Hohl has been asked to respond officially to the allegations of poor conduct, the spokesman said.
While official relations between the two countries are good, opinion polls traditionally show that West Germans are not very popular in Switzerland.