February 23, 2024

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Christoph Blocher is a populist who wants to see more of Switzerland’s neutrality.

Christoph Blocher is a populist who wants to see more of Switzerland’s neutrality.

For months, Switzerland has been causing increasing irritation abroad: the refusal of its European partners (Germany, Denmark and Spain) to re-export Swiss weapons in their possession to Ukraine; Delays in Searching Russian Assets in Switzerland; It stalled relations with the European Union. Six months before the federal election on October 22, the Federal Council (coalition government) appears paralyzed by electoral stakes. This environment benefits the Union of Democratic Centers (UDC), which is credited with nearly 26% of voting intentions, putting this sovereignist and Europhobic party at its highest level since 2015. Switzerland’s current isolation on the international scene benefits this formation. It has made isolationism its political symbol for three decades. Its historic manager, billionaire businessman Christoph Blocher, 82, explained this support simply: “People are fed up with this ambient internationalism. »

He is no longer a minister or deputy, but he continues to air his diatribes “Ninezager” (“Those who say no”). At the age of 82, Mr. Appears alone in meeting with Blocher the world In the living room of the Bernese palace, a stone’s throw from Parliament, raincoat and hat, without a bodyguard in sight. Why hasn’t Switzerland abandoned its isolationist tendencies, as Finland did by joining NATO? “Switzerland is in a completely different situation from the Finns or the Baltic countriesAdvances Christoph Blocher. They fear an enemy on their direct border, and they have sought NATO’s protection. For Switzerland, a small neutral state, the challenge is different. She does not get involved in other people’s conflicts. She defends her territory alone. This strategy suits us well because we have not known war for two centuries. I know this neutrality is always difficult to understand abroad. Therefore, we must emphasize what this position offers us, for example the diplomacy of good offices, strictly neutral mediator position. »

“Complete Neutrality”

After a good week of hesitation over the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Bern aligned itself with all European sanctions against those close to the Kremlin. According to Christoph Blocher, violating its neutrality is unacceptable: “By participating in this conflict, we have actually become one of Russia’s enemies, for which we have even received the congratulations of US President Joe Biden. This is regrettable, because one day this conflict should end, and Switzerland could have acted as a mediator. Also, the last meeting between Putin and Biden before the war was June held in Geneva in 2021. But, for the Russians, Switzerland is no longer an option. »

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