Google analyzed the most popular search terms in Swiss internet searches during 2014, with so-called ‘Geri-Gate’ topping the list of controversial Swiss news stories.
The scandal involving the mayor of Baden, Geri Müller, hit the headlines in August when the Federal MP and Green party member was accused of texting a woman nude “selfies” from city hall and using sex chat sites to communicate with her during work hours.
Nudity was also the issue for the second scandal on the list, that of Swiss artist Milo Moiré, who planned to walk naked through world-famous art show Art Basel for a piece of performance art.
The artist, who had previously raised eyebrows in Germany by squeezing paint-filled eggs out of her vagina to create a painting, was denied entry to Art Basel on the grounds there was no place for spontaneous performance pieces in a fully curated show.
Another nudity-related topic made waves in May. The government-backed Love Life advertising campaign, which aimed to promote safe-sex and combat the spread of HIV and AIDS, was criticized for its ‘No Regrets’ video which showed graphic images of naked and semi-naked couples making love while singing Edith Piaf’s ‘Non je ne regrette rien’.
Relationship controversies also made the top ten list.
In May Swiss resident Elena Rybolovleva, ex-wife of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovleva, shot up Google’s search rankings when she was awarded the biggest ever divorce settlement in history by a Geneva court. The $4.8bn package included $148million-worth of property in Gstaad.
Internet users also relished the rumours of an alleged sex tape made by Swiss model and illustrator Blanda Eggenschwiler and her boyfriend of two years, pop star Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. The couple subsequently split up.
Money was the source of the scandal when it came to number five on the list, the case of teen delinquent ‘Carlos’, who was put through a solo therapy programme costing 29,000 francs ($29,500) a month after efforts to rehabilitate him in closed institutions failed.
The programme was cancelled on the back of public outrage, but that decision was subsequently overturned in court, with Carlos ordered to undergo a second therapy programme costing 19,000 ($19,200) francs a month.
That ended in September after it was found to have “no educational effect”, and Carlos was rearrested in October for threatening behaviour.
Also featuring in Google’s top ten Swiss scandals is the case of former UBS global wealth management executive Raoul Weil, who was extradited to the US after being accused of helping Americans hide $20 billion from the authorities. He was subsequently cleared.
The list is completed by the controversy over the 600,000 franc ($608,500) crane erected in Zurich as a piece of public art, the fraudulent actions of meat company Carna Grisha which sold horse purporting to be beef, and the public transport workers’ strike in Geneva in November over proposed job cuts and austerity measures.
Google’s top ten Swiss scandals:
1. Geri Müller’s nude selfies
2. Milo Moiré’s naked stroll
3. The port crane in Zurich
4. Love Life safe-sex campaign
5. Carlos’ expensive therapy
6. Elena Rybolovleva’s divorce settlement
7. Blanda Eggenschwiler and Joe Jonas's sex tape
8. Raoul Weil’s extradition and trial
9. Carna Grisha meat company
10. Strike by TPG