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The Swiss won't be able to register for the ".eu" web domain when the European Union (EU) begins accepting registrations for internet addresses next month, even though the country is in the heart of Europe. EU regulations prohibit non-members from registering. Only people resident within the EU or undertakings having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Community can apply.

Beat Fehr, head of one of two Swiss internet firms accredited to sell ".eu" addresses, now fears that cybersquatters may snap up Swiss names. Companies such as Nestle and Swatch may lose their .eu web names to foreigners.

Fehr says that the ".eu" domain should be assigned to all European countries. But that is not likely to happen. According to Swissinfo The Swiss Federal Communications Commission sought talks with the EU, but to no avail. The Swiss are not the only people left in the cold. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are also non-EU members.&reg.;

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