Switzerland proves: Life is very good outside the EU

Interview of the French-speaking Swiss daily newspaper “Le Matin” with François Asselineau, president of the French party “Union Populaire Républicaine” (UPR)

cc. François Asselineau (born in 1957) is now the president of what he calls the fifth strongest party in France and was one of Emmanuel Macron’s opponents in the French presidential elections in 2017. However, hardly anyone knows this party because it is largely ignored by the French media. This is due to the party’s three core demands: Leaving the EU, leaving the euro zone and leaving NATO. But the party is in the process of making itself known through other channels, especially its website (https://www.upr.fr) which has a high number of hits. On 28 February 2018, François Asselineau was interviewed by the high-circulation Swiss daily newspaper “Le Matin”.

“Le Matin”: Why do you often sing a song of praise for Switzerland?

François Asselineau: Because your country, which is the most democratic and open-minded country that exists, proves that not belonging to the EU is not synonymous with isolation. The Swiss people deserve the admiration of the world. They refused to join the EU and this vote was respected, contrary to what we have seen in France after the vote on the European Constitution in 2005 [refused with 55%]. Switzerland is accumulating success. The media seems to me to be freer than in France when it comes to representing different opinions. The standard of living and quality of life are high. Incidentally, your country is regularly among the leaders in the assessment of the “Human Development Index” (IDH).

Your opponents do not always share this analysis …

The EU supporters, who hardly know Switzerland at all, often hold me in contempt for the fact that it lives only from the banks. The reality, however, is that this country, unlike ours, is concerned about its industry – above all the watchmaking, optical and pharmaceutical industries. Not to mention tourism and services. It gets even better: Switzerland, Iceland and Norway – the three Western European countries that have refused to join the EU – are at the top of the IDH ranking! Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom, which have rejected the euro, are among the most dynamic countries in the EU in economic terms.

Switzerland is linked to the EU through bilateral treaties and pressure from the EU is growing. Will we be forced to join the EU one day?

The bilateral treaties are useful, but the people must take a close look at what is happening, because your country also has globalised elites who want to impose the EU on it as unnoticed as possible. It must not be allowed to happen that democratic Switzerland, driven by the gangster methods of a big brother whose leaders have not been elected by anyone, will find itself tomorrow in the situation of having to obey European constraints without being able to participate in the decisions. If I were Swiss, I would be very vigilant. Switzerland still has the power to defend its national interests. France, bound to the diverging interests of the 27 EU Member States, can no longer do this!

You do not think it is possible to reform the EU. Why?

The “other Europe”, which is called for by all sorts of sides, hypocrites, incompetents or even “useful idiots”, is unrealistic, because if one word in the European Treaties is to be changed, it requires the unanimity of the 28 members and the 28 peoples, whose interests are in conflict in all areas. France, for example, is a net contributor (i. e. it pays more money to the EU than it receives back) and suffers under the Posting of Workers Directive. Bulgaria, for example, benefits from this and receives more than it pays. The only sensible decision is to leave the EU, as the great British people have done by using article 50. I would like to point out in this context that, contrary to what the prophets of the apocalypse had said, the United Kingdom is doing well. Unemployment figures are at their lowest level since 1975 (4.2%).

If one listens to you, one gets the impression that Switzerland is doing everything right.

No. I am astonished by the fact that it is a member of the “Partnership for Peace”, a NATO structure worthy of Orwell’s new speak “1984”. As a Swiss citizen, I would be outraged. Switzerland is acting in complete contrast to its neutrality, which is precisely its strength. It is thus involved in the American geopolitics of the “battles of cultures” and must send soldiers to Kosovo, for example. This is contrary to its history and interests. However, I find your direct democracy and, in particular, the referendums to be exemplary and worthy of imitation.

Like Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics and the historian Emmanuel Todd, you are predicting death for the euro. Why?

The euro is going very badly, especially because of the Italian government deficit. But the specialists hide this from the public. You would have to write a separate article to explain this. Vincent Brousseau, our specialist in UPR, who has worked at the ECB for 15 years, can explain this very well. Let us just say that the euro is a currency whose exchange rate against the dollar is not high enough for the German economy, but too high for the French and most others in the euro zone. This leads to more unemployment and greater trade deficits. The result: the Bundesbank continues to accumulate bad loans from southern Europe. They have now exceeded 900 billion. If the 1000 billion mark is crossed, the Germans will be forced to make a cut, so that they will not experience the same crash as in 1923. Like Stiglitz, I believe that the countries that are going to leave the euro first will do best.

What would the end of the euro mean for Switzerland?

Your franc would fully assume its role as a currency of refuge. It would rise sharply. Imports would become cheaper and exports would suffer as a result. This would cause some confusion, but to a much lesser extent than in the EU. Reality leaves us with no choice: the euro will collapse – and the EU with it!    •

(The interview was conducted by Laurent Grabe)

Source: “Le Matin” from 28.2.18

(Translation Current Concerns)