The ongoing saga about the Swiss army buying new US fighter jets is taking a new turn. An initiative to stop the purchase is in the planning and originally the army was going to wait until the result of that initiative before placing their order (mid 2023). However, because of the ongoing situation in Ukraine the army would like to push ahead with the purchase, which is leading to a lot of head shaking as people clamour that democracy is not being observed.
Meanwhile an army employee has gotten into trouble for conducting telephone conversations in a loud voice in a full train from Bern to Zürich. To be precise it is the content of his conversations that got him into trouble, and the fact that, unbeknown to him, the passenger sitting next to him was a journalist. The army employee proceeded to divulge secret information about the Swiss army’s stance on the Ukrainian conflict and Vladimir Putin, thoughts on Sweden and Finland joining NATO and many other facts that were not meant for the general public. It is unclear what disciplinary action the man will face.
The EU is planning to put an embargo on the import of Russian oil into European countries and Switzerland in the next 6 months. This will mean that prices will go up not only for car users but in many aspects of society.
Switzerland’s position with regards to the Ukrainian conflict has had the effect of calming relations between the EU and Switzerland. The fact that the country is endorsing the sanctions that the EU has imposed against Russia has helped smooth a relationship that has been deteriorating over the last few years. Now there is even talk of Switzerland rejoining the “Horizon Europe” programme, by paying the EU 1.2 billion francs.
Switzerland’s president, Ignazio Cassis, met with Queen Elizabeth last week. Mr Cassis was one of the only visitors the Queen asked to meet in recent weeks. The Swiss president had flown over to London to discuss a bilateral economic package between Switzerland and the UK with prime minister Johnson. Could it be a return to pre Brexit conditions for UK citizens here? Probably not any time soon, as these things take a long time to get up and running.
The Lucerne police are looking for personel. Instead of the planned 60 jobs they are now looking for 118 men and women, to fill up their ranks as the current force is facing too much overtime and exhaustion.