• Switzerland's news in English
 

Parliament wants to retain military service

Published: 05 Mar 2013 11:43 GMT+01:00

The Council of States on Tuesday voted by 34 to seven votes against abolishing compulsory service. The bigger chamber – the National Council – had already rejected it.

The centre-right majority expressed the view that the Army needed the manpower provided by general conscription.

The Group for a Switzerland without an Army had handed in its initiative in January 2012 with almost 107,000 signatures. This means the initiative will still come to a nationwide vote.

Founded in 1982, the group’s main goal is to “civilize” Swiss society by abolishing its Army, it states on its website.

Reform of the compulsory military service system has also been raised by liberal think-tank Avenir Suisse, the Swiss news agency SDA reported.

Avenir Suisse would like to see a general service introduced that would also apply to women and resident foreigners.

Conscripts would have a choice of Army service, working in civilian protection or in the civilian service, for example in a care home.

Civilian service has been offered as an alternative to military conscription since 1996. It is one and a half times longer than military service, lasting 390 days.

A Demoscope survey published last week showed a majority of Swiss backed the Avenir Suisse proposal.

Morven McLean (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Crash forces Cancellara out of Tour de France
Fabian Cancellera (in yellow) riding in third stage. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP

Crash forces Cancellara out of Tour de France

Swiss cycling star Fabian Cancellara is abandoning this year’s Tour de France after being injured in a spectacular crash involving more than 30 riders during the third stage of the race, when he was wearing the yellow jersey as overall leader. READ  

Fifa corruption scandal
Fifa bans ex-World Cup bid inspection chief
Photo: AFP

Fifa bans ex-World Cup bid inspection chief

Football's world governing body Fifa on Monday banned the former head of their bid evaluation committee for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups for seven years for "confidentiality" breaches. READ  

Wimbledon 2015
Three Swiss stars advance to quarterfinals
Wawrinka took more than two hours to see off Goffin. Photo: AFP

Three Swiss stars advance to quarterfinals

Switzerland’s top two men's tennis stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka advanced to the Wimbledon’s quarterfinals on Monday, while Swiss Timea Bacsinszky qualified for the women's quarters at the All England Club for the first time. READ  

Two foreigners found dead in Zurich river
The Limmat River in Zurich is a popular place for swimming. Photo: Zurich Tourismus

Two foreigners found dead in Zurich river

UPDATED: City police found the bodies of two foreigners in the Limmat River in Zurich on Sunday, while two people drowned in the canton of Saint Gallen as a sweltering heatwave continued for a fifth day in much of Switzerland. READ  

Greece crisis
Swiss franc strengthens on Greek 'no' vote
Yes (Oxi) supporters celebrate outcome of vote. Photo: Louisa Goulimaki/AFP

Swiss franc strengthens on Greek 'no' vote

The euro immediately weakened against the Swiss franc and the US dollar on Sunday night after Greek voters resoundingly rejected financial bailout proposals made by creditors. READ  

Blast kills one at Swiss-owned Montenegro plant

One person was killed and seven others injured in a blast on Sunday at a Swiss-owned weapons factory in Montenegro, police said. READ  

Ultralight plane pilot dies in Swiss mountain crash
Le Moléson looms over the castle in Gruyères. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Ultralight plane pilot dies in Swiss mountain crash

A 62-year-old man died on Sunday after crashing an ultra-light motorized (ULM) plane into Le Moléson mountain in the canton of Fribourg, just four days after such aircraft were authorized for use in Switzerland, police said. READ  

Moroccan journalist on hunger strike in Geneva
Ali Lmrabet Moroccan journalist in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Moroccan journalist on hunger strike in Geneva

A Moroccan journalist on hunger strike in Geneva, who was previously jailed for insulting the Moroccan king and is now being denied a passport, was told Sunday to return home to plead his case. READ  

Greece crisis
Greece 'wants tax assets hidden in Swiss banks'
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

Greece 'wants tax assets hidden in Swiss banks'

Athens wants a tax amnesty deal for Greeks who have stashed cash in Swiss banks, in a bid to bring much-needed revenue to the debt-laden country, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday. READ  

Wimbledon 2015
Federer through to the last 16 of Wimbledon
Federer on his way to victory over Groth. Photo: Tim Ireland/AFP

Federer through to the last 16 of Wimbledon

Seven-time champion Roger Federer defeated big-serving Australian Sam Groth to reach the Wimbledon last 16 on Saturday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
National weather office extends danger alerts as heatwave takes hold
National
Most severe heatwave in Switzerland since 2003 on the way
Travel
Bogglingly expensive Geneva club sandwiches remain 'priciest in world'
Politics
Anti-immigration nationalist party remains most popular: poll
National
Greek finance minister slams Swiss over lack of tax evasion info
Business & Money
Insects proposed for sale in Swiss supermarkets next year
Sponsored Article
Geneva's revolutionary marketing education
National
'Oh God — I'm coming': noisy lovers' complaint goes public
National
Canton of Ticino threatens closing Italy border to asylum seekers
Sponsored Article
Swiss chocolate with a story: Blondel
National
Just in case: Swiss National Bank prepares for Grexit 'crisis'
National
Russian crisis fuelled by sanctions threaten 40,000 Swiss jobs: study
National
Art Basel: Art for art's sake — or to make an investment?
National
New survey ranks Zurich Europe's priciest city for expatriates
National
Quarter of residents in Switzerland 'have multiple homes'
Features
Veggie lovers and 'flexitarians' challenge Swiss meat-eating habits
National
Forest officials struggle to save Switzerland's dying ash trees
Education
Historian finds ancient Egyptian papyrus texts in Basel uni library
National
Seven large Swiss employers back 'flexible work' charter
National
Basel police rescue of ducks forces closure of A2 motorway
National
Mother and daughter die as rain storms lash central Switzerland
Sport
'Stan the man' Wawrinka: French Open triumph 'completely crazy'
Culture
Expat's Zurich 'then and now' video shows how little the city has changed
National
Phoney Geneva police officers rob tourists and UN staff
Sport
Blatter's abrupt resignation seen as a 'stunning capitulation'
Features
Cleanup crews head to ski resorts to keep Swiss mountains tidy
Culture
Interlaken museum showcases works by Picasso using Caran d'Ache pencils
National
Low interest rates give tenants right to seek rent reductions in Switzerland
Sport
Switzerland's Blatter fends off critics to win fifth term as Fifa president
National
Agricultural researchers discover why Swiss cheese has holes
Culture
Swiss filmmaker returns home to shoot 'gender-fluid' film in Ticino
Features
Severed rope recalls Matterhorn's first ascent 150 years ago
National
Top Swiss court refuses to recognize child's two gay 'fathers'
National
Woman's scoop for Ticino online news site: 'I killed my husband'
National
Four Swiss bathing areas 'unfit' for swimmers: Euro environmental body
Technology
Scientists from Zurich university find craters beneath Lake Neuchâtel
National
Prince William in Switzerland backs fight to protect endangered species
National
Swiss Federal Railways rely on sheep to 'mow' grass alongside tracks
Sport
Switzerland to host 2020 international ice hockey tourney
Business & Money
I never learned German: departing Credit Suisse CEO's regret
Sport
International tennis museum in US showcases Federer hologram
National
Inequality greater than most Swiss think: opinion poll for unions
National
Shooting in Switzerland leaves five dead in domestic drama near Zurich
National
Swiss Federal Railways tackle taboo subject of suicide in bid to cut deaths
National
German expats in Switzerland face discrimination: report
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,375
jobs available