In an interview with Geman news weekly Die Zeit, Defence Minister Ueli Maurer said: ”Europe has passed its high point”.
In Switzerland, he said, ”nobody still in possession of their marbles wants to join the EU. This alliance of states has lost much of its credibility.”
Maurer, who represents the far-right Swiss People’s Party, added:
"We are the best economy in the world. People admire our democracy; we are a country with many virtues.
"We are actually the model for the future. Sharing responsibility with the people – that is the future,” said Maurer, referring to Switzerland’s long tradition of direct democracy.
“Europe on the other hand is in such poor condition because people thought responsibility could come from on high. In the end, however, this just means nobody is responsible,” he said.
A survey carried out in May by the MIS Research Institute in Lausanne found that 82 percent of Swiss people were against having accession talks with the EU.