Letters to the Editor

The lovely, beautiful wolf

There was a time when hunger and misery were just around the corner. These days all that is forgotten. Our ancestors knew why the wolf was shown the master. There wasn’t meat on the table every day, and every animal that was killed was a loss and was missing. The import of food was also limited.
   Who tells us that it will always be like today? Too much and too little are close together. At the beginning of the corona pandemic in March, we saw how the shelves in the shopping centres were emptied.
   The wolf causes serious problems for us farmers. We receive requirements from the agricultural office:1 If there are no herding dogs on an alp, the farmer does not get any compensation for killed animals. However, there are nine other months, besides the time on the alp, where some animals are at pasture. For a few animals, the farmers cannot afford any protection measures. Nevertheless, the wolf can strike there too. Furthermore, not only sheep are affected. On many alps there are stony and sloping areas. When the wolves look for their prey at night, even frightened cattle and calves can quickly break their legs or fall.
   Therefore, everyone must realise that the hour has come for this predator.

Heiri Hösli, montain farmer,
Ennetberg, Ennenda (Glarus)

1  From the “Information letter on large carnivores and herd protection 2020” of the Department of Economics and Interior, Office for Agriculture, canton of Glarus, of 11 August 2020: “Dear animal owners. It is a fact that wolves are present in the canton of Glarus. The killing of livestock must therefore be expected at anytime and anywhere. [...] It must be expected that in the future only the killing of livestock caused by large carnivores will be compensated where reasonable herd protection measures have been taken.”

Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons – Considerations against the current

The army of conformists has long been on the warpath. And under the aegis of Economiesuisse – formerly “in situ” – it is leading a crusade against the popular initiative to restrict (not abolish!) freedom of movement between the EU and Switzerland. The closer the date of the vote gets, the longer the list of associations of various kinds, urging that the initiative be buried under an avalanche of no votes. They want to make us believe that if this bill is adopted on 27 September 2020, the Swiss will not get a foot anymore on European soil the next day. They also argue that the problem raised by the initiative does not exist, as fewer foreigners have settled in Switzerland last year than in the previous year.
   Allow me, therefore, to make a few considerations speaking against it.
   With regard to the threats mentioned above, the following should be considered:

  1. the agreements “threatened” by the so-called guillotine clause (This means that if one agreement is cancelled, the remaining agreements also fall away, translator’s note) are only six of the “first package” (not already the hundred and odd-numbered others), including the infamous transport agreement allowing all trucks on the continent to clog our roads at will, practically for free; an agreement that is certainly of more interest to the others than to us!
  2. secondly, that the famous “guillotine clause” is not activated automatically, but only if all 27 EU countries agree.
  3. with regard to the number of foreigners, it cannot be ignored that the millions and more people who have settled in our country in the last 12 or 13 years, continue to develop quietly with all that this implies (explosive construction activity, expensive rents, increase in road traffic, and so on).

But is Switzerland really so ailing that it does not even have an ally among all 27 member states? All these countries are trading intensively with us. (Just think of the fact that every year Switzerland buys on average 33 billion euros worth of goods from the EU more than it sells!) Well, do you think that such a partner of interested industrialists would “spit on it”? It is possible that some bureaucrat dreams of punishing Switzerland for the possible crime of lack of Europeanism. But that all European industrialists think this way has yet to be proven!
   Of course, in order to find allies a long diplomatic work is necessary. Is that why the Federal Council is so hostile to the initiative?

Franco Celio,
former member of the Great Council for the Partito Liberale Radicale Ticinese
 (Free Democratic Party of Switzerland)

(Translation Current Concerns)

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