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Europe

Switzerland Joins Passport-Free Zone

While Ireland, the UK and the ten new EU members remain outside the passport-free Schengen zone, Switzerland Wednesday signed up to join.

While Ireland, the UK and the ten new EU members remain outside the passport-free Schengen zone, Switzerland Wednesday signed up to join. It is the third non-EU country, after Iceland and Norway, to join the Schengen Treaty of 1985, which eliminates border checkpoints and controls. Switzerland signed nine agreements with the EU in Luxembourg Wednesday, including an important deal on allowing the EU's 25 member states access to untaxed cash deposited in Swiss banks. Switzerland also signed up to "Eurodac" -- the EU's system to compare the fingerprints of asylum applicants and illegal immigrants -- and to the Dublin Convention, which makes it possible to determine the state responsible for examining asylum applications. EUobserver.com)

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