• Switzerland's news in English
Paris terror attacks
Swiss right calls for army to reinforce borders
Defence minister Ueli Maurer. Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Swiss right calls for army to reinforce borders

Caroline Bishop · 16 Nov 2015, 13:35

Published: 16 Nov 2015 13:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Maurer, a member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), told newspaper SonntagsBlick that he wasn’t surprised about the Paris attacks and that such an attack in Switzerland “is no longer totally abstract, but conceivable”.

He spoke of the need to strengthen border controls using the help of the army, saying such measures were “politically taboo” but “necessary”.

He also told SonntagsBlick that the Schengen and Dublin agreements with the EU “obviously do not work”.

On Saturday the country stepped up police presence at rail stations and French diplomatic buildings, and increased border controls between France and Switzerland.

But these steps are not enough, according to the SVP, which met in Bern on Saturday.

In a statement published on its website, the party expressed its “deep worry over the terrible terrorist acts committed in Paris and also over the uncontrolled wave of immigration in Europe.”

The party said it was “in favour of a strong army to guard the security of this country and its inhabitants” and asked the federal government “to immediately guarantee the security of national borders and stop illegal entry.”

Some on the political left reacted in anger to the SVP's linking of the Paris attacks with the migrant crisis in Europe.

“I find it pitiful that the SVP uses the drama in Paris to recycle its obsessions,” Green politician Robert Cramer told the Tribune de Genève.  

Socialist Pierre-Alain Fridez said the use of the army shouldn’t be ruled out, the Tribune.

But he said such a move should only be made if it is proven that terrorists are using the same channels as asylum seekers and border guards are in real need of help.

Story continues below…

“The most important thing is to continue to respect the rights and dignity of migrants,” he said.

According to Vigipol, a coordinated security plan implemented by police in French-speaking cantons, no concrete threat exists towards Switzerland at the moment but “the risk of isolated copycat actions by disturbed individuals cannot be completely ruled out”, reported the Tribune de Genève.

Since the federal elections on October 18th the SVP holds 65 of the 200 seats in the Swiss parliament’s lower house, making it the country’s biggest party.

The party also looks likely to get a key second seat in the country's seven-member cabinet after the resignation of finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available