Switzerland's news in English

Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Swiss socialists want vote on fighter jet deal

Share this article

Swiss socialists want vote on fighter jet deal
Saab AB/Anders Zeilon
09:14 CET+01:00

Swiss socialists want to hold a referendum on the government's 3.1 billion franc ($3.4 billion) purchase of a new fighter jet fleet if the deal affects spending elsewhere, it was reported on Saturday.

The Federal Council revealed on Wednesday its proposal to buy 22 Swedish-made Gripen planes to replace its ageing F5 fighters.

Socialists fear the deal will mean a rise in military spending that could translate into budget restrictions in other departments, notably education, transport and agriculture.

Meeting in Lucerne on Saturday, party members unanimously passed a resolution on the matter after a document outlining the group's position was approved in October, ATS news agency reported.

The party rejects the prospect of a spending rise all the more because there was no public vote on the plane deal, described as a "scandal" by National Council (parliament) member Eric Voruz.

It will launch a referendum if parliament seeks a legal base to justify budgetary restrictions or requests a rise in military spending to cover the acquisition.

If such a referendum does not halt the deal the socialists will call for a moratorium on the purchase until 2025.

The Gripen deal will be put to parliament as part of the government's 2012 arms programme.

Parliamentary decisions can be put to a public vote in Switzerland if a sufficient number of votes are collected.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

This cloud-based agency takes remote working to the next level

Be honest, who hasn’t dreamed of working remotely with all the perks of employment? If you’ve got the skills, you only need to look UP to make that dream a reality.