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SWISS VOTERS APPROVE 2 TUNNELS UNDER ALPS

Swiss voters have approved construction of two high-speed-rail tunnels under the Alps, a move that clears a hurdle to joining a 19-nation European free-trade zone.

The $10.7 billion plan would provide an alternate route for north-south European cargo traffic - now clogging congested roads - and would speed passenger train service.Swiss entry into the European free-trade zone on Jan. 1 - widely seen as a prelude to membership in the European Community - had hinged on approval of the referendum on tunnel construction.