Swiss cake plot squashes Joschka Fischer speech

Former German foreign minister and one-time street fighter Joschka Fischer has cancelled a speech about improving the world after Swiss left wingers threatened to show up and throw shoes and cake at him. 

Swiss cake plot squashes Joschka Fischer speech
Jürg Vollmer (File)

Fischer, an unorthodox Green politician, was caught up in a scandal in 2001 when photographs were given to a German magazine showing him attacking a policeman during a 1973 demonstration. 

He took on the mantle of elder statesman after serving as foreign minister and vice chancellor under Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and now makes infrequent public appearances. 

Yet he was due to speak at the Winterthur theatre near Zurich on Saturday on a number of global matters. 

But after local anti-capitalists objected, calling for him to be driven away, and urging people to “come in numbers and be creative, with shoes and cake,” he backed out. 

They called him a warmonger, referring to his support for the Nato bombing of Serbs over Kosovo in 1999, and also criticised him for taking jobs with energy and oil companies since leaving political office. 

“Talking about sustainability and a better world under a large police protection operation was such a big contradiction for Joschka Fischer that he did not want to accept it,” a statement from the theatre said, announcing the speech was cancelled. 

Fischer was not scared for his own safety though, Die Welt reported on Friday. “Once an old war horse, always an old war horse,” he said. 

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Travel: Are neighbouring countries still open to Swiss tourists?

Borders between Switzerland and its neighbours are open. But given high coronavirus infection rates, border nations have tightened their entry requirements.

Travel: Are neighbouring countries still open to Swiss tourists?
Good old days in Paris. Photo by AFP

Yes, people from Switzerland can still to go to France, Germany, Italy and Austria, but it is not as easy as it was before the second wave of Covid-19 swept the entire region.

Of the four states bordering Switzerland, Austria is the easiest to enter.

For the time being, it does not restrict travellers from Switzerland. The borders remain open and no quarantine or Covid test is required for Swiss residents.

Like Austria, Italy has not to date implemented any access restrictions or quarantine requirements for Switzerland. The only condition set by the Italian authorities is that each person entering the country must complete a form declaring that they have not tested positive for Covid-19. Otherwise, it is necessary to observe a 14-day quarantine. 

However, before travelling south of the border keep in mind that Italian cinemas and theaters are closed, and restaurants must stop serving their customers at 6 pm. The authorities have also imposed a night curfew from 10 pm until 5 am.

READ MORE: How will lockdowns in France and Germany affect Swiss residents? 



Since October 30th, France has been in lockdown, which will last until at least December 1st. As such, travel on French territory is prohibited, except in well-defined cases — including trips to get to work, trips to buy essential goods, or trips for compelling family reasons — and on presentation of an ‘exit certificate’.


Unlike France, Germany has not implemented a new shutdown. However, restaurants, bars and leisure facilities like theaters and cinemas are closed until December.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said last week that the country's borders with its neighbours, including Switzerland, would remain open.

Gemany already placed Switzerland on its quarantine list on October 22nd, because Swiss Covid infection rates exceed those of its neighbour.

This means that anyone who enters from Switzerland must be tested on arrival in Germany. The tested person must then quarantine until the result comes through.

But the German state of Baden-Württemberg, which borders Switzerland, exempts Swiss arrivals from quarantine, under some conditions.

For example, those crossing the border from Switzerland to visit family and friends will be permitted to do so without quarantine, provided they do not stay longer than 48 hours. 

Baden-Württemberg's authorities are also allowing residents of Appenzell, Aargau, Basel, Basel-Country, Jura, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau and Zurich to come to Germany without being tested, as long as they stay no longer than 24 hours.