Swiss fight image with farmer beefcake

May 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM

BERN, Switzerland, May 27 (UPI) -- The creators of a calendar featuring scantily clad Swiss farmers said they are aiming to improve the country's image, especially in Germany.

Tina Steinauer, who has been shooting the 2010 Swiss Farmers' Union calendar in the village of Seegraben, said the product is aimed at highlighting Swiss farm culture at a time when the country is facing heavy criticism from the United States and Germany for refusing to give up the names of tax evasion suspects, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

"We want to show Switzerland in its best light, the countryside and a bit of its culture," Steinauer said of the calendar, which will feature men in farming poses while wearing very little clothing.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck has been particularly critical of Switzerland, comparing the Swiss to "Red Indians" fleeing the "U.S. cavalry," a remark that led the minister to apologize to Native Americans.

"We will have to make sure that the German Finance Ministry gets one," a member of the Swiss Farmers' Union said of the calendars.

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