Swiss remain against Gripen fighter jets: poll

A majority of Swiss remain opposed to the government’s planned acquisition of Swedish Saab Gripen fighter jets at a cost of 3.1 billion francs.

Swiss remain against Gripen fighter jets: poll
Photo: AFP/File

A public opinion survey conducted by the Isopublic polling institute and published on Sunday by SonntagsBlick found that 63 percent of those surveyed were opposed to buying the planes.

Only 31 percent favored acquiring them while six percent had no opinion.

Around 1,000 were interviewed for the survey.

The results were similar to those for a poll on the same question a year earlier when 64.1 percent were against the purchase, 25.6 percent were in support and 10 percent had no opinion.

The results come just before the lower house of parliament is set to vote on the purchase of the 22 Gripen planes to replace the Swiss army’s ageing F5 Tiger fleet.

The Swiss government initially announced its decision to order the Swedish fighter jets back in November 2011, saying they were the cheapest of three options.

But the process of getting legislative approval has drawn out.

At the end of August a parliamentary committee voted 14 to 9 in favour of the Gripen planes, with two abstentions.

The senate, which earlier this year sought modifications in the deal, will again consider the proposed contract later this month.

Even if both houses back the planes, the issue is expected to go to a national referendum.

The general population remains to be convinced the fighter planes are needed.

The latest Isopublic survey found that 60 percent of respondents are against buying any kind of new fighter jets for the Swiss army, while 40 percent back the idea.

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