For a secure future in freedom

by National Councillor Franz Grüter, President of the Foreign Policy Committee

On 1 August we celebrate the birthday of Switzerland. More than 730 years ago, a unique project of success began in the middle of Europe. Today we can say that in no other country do citizens enjoy as much freedom, self-determination, security and prosperity as in Switzerland.
   The founding stone was laid by the Federal Charter of 1291, in which the valleys of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore to stand by each other in the face of the “malice of the age”. At that time, the threat came from outside, from foreign tax bailiffs and foreign judges.
    Today, the malice of the age lurks inside: Many no longer know that our prosperity and our freedom are anything but self-evident. All the more reason for us to remember this protective alliance and the foundations of Switzerland on 1 August.

For a strong army

Today, the state does everything possible and impossible. In parliament, one could sometimes think that there is nothing more important to do than to install gender-neutral toilets.
    Yet the majority in parliament has allowed the foundation of internal and external security to fall into disrepair over the years: the army. Without security there is no freedom. Without freedom, there is no self-determination. This is dramatically demonstrated by the war in Ukraine.
    In July, my wife and I travelled through Scandinavia in a camper van. We were particularly impressed by Finland: how seriously this small country with 5.5 million inhabitants takes the protection of its population. In case of war, the Finns can put up to 520,000 men under arms in a short time to defend the country’s independence.
     My conclusion is that we must consistently adhere to Switzerland’s model of success. This means remaining neutral and being able to protect our country and our people independently. Unfortunately, both of these are at great risk.
     In the military, I learned an important leadership principle: In crises, one should never make hasty decisions that have a long-term effect. Such decisions usually turn out to be wrong afterwards. Unfortunately, this was also the case with the abandonment of neutrality. Under pressure from abroad, the Federal Council took decisions that went against the interests of our country.

For credible neutrality

Switzerland’s history also teaches us this: we absolutely must return to armed neutrality. This means that our army, which has been denigrated for decades and which has been broken through destructive saving, must be made defensible again so that it can protect the country and its people. Only in this way can we continue to be safe and free in the future, “as the fathers were”. The message of the Federal Charter of 1291 still applies to Switzerland today.
    The fact that Switzerland is doing so well and that it has survived two world wars unscathed, among other things, is due in large part to our perpetual armed neutrality. But even this pillar of our state and of Switzerland as a model of success is shaking. Not only the left, but also many bourgeois politicians suddenly want to throw neutrality overboard. The presidents of the Centre and the FDP even want to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine – to a belligerent state!
    Switzerland has also no business in the UN Security Council, where the major powers decide on war and peace. We must stop this rapid sell-out of neutrality. Otherwise, Switzerland will lose all credibility as a neutral mediator and will no longer be able to use its Good Offices. In the past, it made with it an important contribution to stability and peace in the world. Or to put it another way: If every country lived up to Switzerland’s neutrality, there would be no war in the world.

For a secure energy supply

There is a dark red alert for the energy supply: there could be a power shortage as early as this winter. Companies have been informed that their electricity could simply be cut off. We will sit in our homes and feel cold. The economy will grind to a halt. Our interconnected digital world will collapse if we run out of electricity.
    Such a scenario would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Now it threatens to become reality. The SVP’s warnings to this effect were thrown to the wind by the Federal Council and the other parties. In 2017, we warned of too little electricity and exploding energy prices with a “cold shower” poster. We were laughed at then – now no one is laughing any more.
    The self-inflicted crisis is a state failure of the first order: A wealthy industrialised country like Switzerland is not capable of ensuring enough energy for the population and the economy? That sounds like a bad joke.
    The centre-left’s day dream policy is to blame for that. The Energy Strategy 2050 has failed miserably. Technology bans – nuclear energy, bans on combustion engines – are harmful and inhibit progress and development. Wind and solar power cannot replace the missing capacities. Especially not in winter, when we need a lot of energy. Only 5 per cent of our electricity comes from wind and sun – yet the SP, the Greens and the Centre want to shut down the nuclear power plants that reliably supply a third of Switzerland’s electricity.
    A secure energy supply is a top priority. The Federal Council must do everything it can to avert the threat of blackouts. The population and businesses depend on a secure and affordable energy supply. There must be an end to the suicidal experiments of left-green and soft-bourgeois politics! That is why the SVP is calling for the appointment of an “electricity general” to work out the full options for a secure energy supply.

Our successful model is in danger

The Federal Council is also running in the wrong direction in agricultural policy. Instead of strengthening productional agriculture and increasing the degree of self-sufficiency in the current global crisis, it has just decided that 3.5 per cent of arable land should be “ecologised”. That is 10,000 hectares less grain. With that we could produce bread for a million people in Switzerland!
    We must also change course in agricultural policy. The production of domestic food must be increased and the dependence on imports from abroad must be reduced.
    The Swiss model of success is in danger! Our freedom, our independence, our internal and external security, our neutrality, our energy and food supply, our prosperity, our free enterprise, our pension provision – all this is acutely endangered. We urgently need to take countermeasures.
    What our ancestors built up over generations can be destroyed in a flash. The time of ideological experiments in prosperity is over. Realism and reason are called for. To ensure that our children’s children also have a secure future in freedom, Switzerland needs a renewal of the defensive alliance. Let us stand together for a secure future in freedom.  

(Translation Current Concerns)


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