The new anti-terror law adopted by Switzerland last weekend is one of the harshest police laws in all of Europe. Its adoption in a referendum highlights the urgency of building a genuine workers’ party in Switzerland that defends as a matter of principle the democratic rights of working people. The “Federal Law on Police Measures to Combat Terrorism” (PMT) blatantly disregards the principles of the so-called “democratic rule of law.” For example, it flouts the civil-democratic separation of powers because it allows the federal police to intervene against so-called “dangerous persons” even without sufficient evidence for criminal proceedings and without an order from a judge. The law also disregards the principle of personal data protection, allowing police officers to retrieve and exchange “particularly sensitive personal data” amongst themselves.
The facts presented come from scientific papers, which have undergone a peer review and have been published in the best medical journals. Many of these facts were known before the end of February. If you had taken note of these medical facts and had been able to separate ideology, politics, and medicine, Switzerland would most likely be in a better position today: we would not have the second most COVID-19-positive people worldwide and one per capita significantly smaller number of people who lost their lives in the context of this pandemic. In addition, it is very likely that we would have no partial, incomplete lockdown of our economy and no controversial discussions about how we can "get out of here".
The 373-megawatt-capacity plant which opened in 1972 has generated enough electricity to cover the energy consumption of the nearby city of Bern for more than 100 years. In scenes shown live on Swiss TV, at 12.30 pm (1130 GMT) a technician pressed two buttons in the control room to stop the chain reaction and deactivate the reactor, shutting down the plant for good. The closure is the first of Switzerland’s five nuclear reactors to be shuttered following the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, which triggered safety concerns about nuclear power around the world.
Since 2016, civil disobedience actions in several swiss cities have targeted banks (Crédit Suisse and UBS) investing heavily in the expansion of fossil fuel extraction, particularly "extreme" fossil fuels, such as canadian tar sands and fracking. The Swiss financial sector causes 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions than Switzerland itself. Between 2016 and 2018, investments of UBS and Credit Suisse totalled 83.3 billion USD. These are climate crimes, considering that according to the IPCC only a quarter of conventional fossil fuel reserves can be exploited if we are to avoid warming of over 2 degrees and the resultant climate chaos. Until lately, the banks and authorities had tolerated repeated occupations, hoping to avoid negative publicity, but are now reacting more and more violently as the movement grows in size and determination.
By Anca Voinea for Coop News - Co-operatives, community land trusts and other housing models are coming together to help communities design their own homes and neighbourhoods. The new concept – known as a platform for social production of habitat (SPH) – means locals are involved in projects, so they meet their own specifications rather than those set by the private market. Based in Switzerland, the project began when a group of community-led housing practitioners met to discuss the formation of a global network to increase visibility of the model and support local efforts through peer exchange, workshops, solidarity finance and campaigns, and a regional awards program linked to the World Habitat Award. The partners are the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF), Co-operative Housing International, Grounded Solutions Network, Habitat International Coalition, Slum Dwellers International, and UrbaMonde. UrbanMonde co-ordinates activities bringing together the six housing groups from different regions around the world. They focus on helping them to share practices and experiences.
By Isaac Davis for Waking Times - Iceland has gained the admiration of populists in recent years by doing that which no other nation in the world seems to be willing or capable of doing: prosecuting criminal bankers for engineering financial collapse for profit. Their effective revolt against the banking class, who drove the tiny nation into economic crisis in 2008, is the brightest example yet that the world does not have to be indebted in perpetuity to an austere and criminal wealthy elite. In 2015, 26 Icelandic bankers were sentenced to prison and the government ordered a bank sale to benefit the citizenry. Inspired by Iceland’s progress, activists in Switzerland are now making an important stand against the banking cartels and have successfully petitioned to bring an initiative to public referendum that would attack the private banks where it matters most...
By Staff for AFP - Hervé Falciani, a 43-year-old French-Italian national, leaked a cache of documents allegedly indicating that HSB C's Geneva private banking arm helped more than 120,000 clients to hide €180.6 billion ($205.4 billion) from tax authorities. While he is widely viewed as a whistleblower and hailed as a hero in countries where his leaked information is helping to net tax cheats, the Swiss authorities remain intent on prosecuting him. "I am not going," Falciani told reporters in Divonne-les-Bains, France, just a stone's throw from the border with Switzerland where he is facing charges of data theft, industrial espionage, and violating the country's long-cherished banking secrecy laws. "In Switzerland, the conditions for a fair and balanced trial are not there, in my opinion," he said. Falciani failed to show for his trial in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona earlier this month, and his case was adjourned until November 2nd. As a French national living in France, he cannot be extradited to Switzerland.
Billions of people are squirming in sordid poverty trying to make ends meet; everybody is scaling down, giving up or away whatever they acquired out of greed or pride. And sometimes they give up things they need the most – or rather, it’s taken away from them, like a car, a house, their home, their life. Why? Because they’ve got a loan or mortgage they can’t pay back – usually a Swiss Franc loan. This is the drama now consuming over 75,000 Romanians who have been baited by the banks with hoopla and big promises based on the unchangeable course of the mighty Franc. It's said that at the time, the banks borrowed billions to appeal to people's subconscious, subliminal resistance and their unbridled temptations: no need for a steady job, low interest rates, hasty approval, trendy deal - stuff that made one feel differently cool, Swiss cool. And to top it off, this was the sole crediting option at that particular time in history. Go figure. The banks had no qualms about it; they scored big time. Now the fight is on. Two thousand protesters gathered on Jan. 25 in Constitution Plaza in Bucharest . . .
Supporters of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S. were puzzled September 27 when Swiss voters rejected a reform proposal by 62 percent. The new law would have replaced the current system, where about 60 insurance companies offer mandatory health coverage, with a single insurer, the government. It would have offered all medically necessary care, paid for by taxes adjusted to each person’s ability to pay. To Americans who’ve worked for such a system here, nationally and state by state, it was a blow. What’s not to like about single payer? Swiss and American media, academia, and business sectors rushed to interpret the results. Virtually all crowed that the Swiss people had rejected government-run national health insurance because they preferred private insurers.
While Switzerland’s booming economy has made the country synonymous with a superlative standard of living, the government estimates that approximately one worker in 10 struggles to pay rent, despite working full time. Just as the issue has been fiercely debated in the United States, the Swiss go to the polls on Sunday to weigh in on a proposed solution: raising the national hourly minimum wage to 22 Swiss francs ($24.65). If successful, it would become the world’s highest minimum wage; more than double the 8.50 euros ($11.64) agreed to last month in Germany, which has the European Union’s largest economy, or the $10.10 sought by President Obama. The referendum is the latest twist on the global debate over the causes and extent of income inequality, what if anything should be done about it, and whether higher minimum wages ultimately help or hurt workers.